Experience SAS Global Forum: A First-Timer’s View & Tip Sheet


If you’re a SAS user, you know that SAS Global Forum is where you want to be! It’s our premier, can’t-miss event for SAS professionals—that includes thousands of users, executives, partners and academics.

SAS Global Forum 2018 first-time attendee, Rachel Nemecek

It’s also our largest users’ event, organized by users, for users, and this year’s event marks our 44th annual! Of course, back when SAS got its start, our inaugural event was then called SAS.ONE. And while it’s grown from a couple dozen sessions to hundreds, it’s been a major keystone for SAS users around the world who look forward connecting and building knowledge.

Considering attending this year? We sat down with Analytics Manager, Rachel Nemecek, who attended for the first time in 2018, to share her SAS Global Forum experience with us!

Rachel’s favorite part of SAS Global Forum? “The access to so many different SAS subject matter experts in one place.  I could just wander around the Attendee Hub [The Quad] and check out different technologies, meet product experts and get all my questions answered. It’s also a great opportunity to set up meetings with experts on particular topics relevant to my business. And, of course, swag.  I won some SAS socks that I still wear and all my analyst friends are jealous.”

Keep reading to hear more about all the great things to expect at SAS Global Forum, and Rachel’s first-time experience, tips and insights!

Psst: Looking for conference proceedings? Our very own Lex Jansen has documented SAS conference proceedings from 1976-present!

Learn: Enhance your analytics skills

At the forefront of advanced analytics, digital transformation and innovation, you’ll hear the latest SAS advancements and announcements from SAS executives during the event. You’ll also hear from a great lineup of partners, customers (like Kellogg Company!) and industry experts on topics like artificial intelligence, IoT, cloud and more. With separate tracks for Users, Executives, Partners and Academics, the event features customized content for each audience.

What was Rachel’s favorite session of SAS Global Forum 2018? “I particularly enjoyed hearing from Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code.  Kept thinking of my nieces and how great it was that opportunities like that to experiment with technical ideas could be available to them at a young age.”

Covering all learning preferences and formats, the event offers a variety of session types. In addition to a plethora of SAS topics, you’ll enjoy over 600 sessions, workshops, demos and presentations. And The Quad is not to be missed! With a 20% larger space than last year, you’ll learn more about SAS and our partners, and take part in hands-on activities, experiences and games like chess, smart darts and more!

Lastly, don’t forget that event attendees can also take advantage of (discounted) SAS training and certification right on-site! To secure your seat, register for pre and post-conference training and exams during your event registration. During the event check out the Learning Lab, where you can take free SAS e-learning classes and access our free SAS Viya for Learners tool.

Rachel’s advice? “Make sure to explore all the activities that are available outside just the conference sessions – hands-on activities, demos, and of course, the networking events.”

Tip:  Don’t miss Opening Session for insights and entertainment! Also, don’t forget to schedule in time to visit the custom t-shirt press in the Cherry Blossom Lounge for your SAS Global Forum 2020 t-shirt!

Once available, use the SAS Global Forum app to build, map, and plan out your agenda in advance—not only will it help you keep track of the sessions you want to attend, but you’ll have a handy guide for navigating around the conference venue.

You’re sure to takeaway a lot of great SAS nuggets!

Network: Build your analytics circle

Attendees can also enjoy organized receptions for networking. Taking advantage of this year’s location, the 2020 event social will take place across two (Smithsonian) museums in just one night!

And, as Rachel points out, networking isn’t limited to who you meet outside your organization: “There were probably a couple dozen folks from various parts of my company that attended, which ended up being an extra benefit – to network with internal analytics colleagues outside my immediate organization.”

Be sure to sign up for the free networking events during registration, take advantage of the free lunch on-site (and lunchtime chats), and utilize the SAS Global Forum app! This year, all content will be housed in the app as part of our “go green” initiative. These are great opportunities to mingle with fellow SAS users and build your SAS network. Also, keep an eye out for SAS user group gatherings and special events!

Tip: Connect online via the SAS Global Forum Community and follow along on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. #SASGF

Join us there!

Will Rachel be attending this year’s event? “Yes, I’ll be there and will be bringing a few folks from my team.”

Don’t miss out! Registration is open now!

We’ll see you in DC!

Tip: Not able to attend? You can still join in online. Several sessions will be live streamed via the SAS Users YouTube channel.

Have you attended #SASGF in the past? Share your favorite highlights from the event with us below!

First-timer to the event this year? We’re excited to have you join us and we’re looking forward to helping you create your SAS Global Forum story!


About Author

Tricia Jenkins

Tricia is a Business Operations Specialist at SAS Software. In her current role, she has the opportunity to interact with SAS users across the globe on a daily basis through a variety of channels, including social media—140 characters may not sound like much, but they sure keep this girl busy!

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