Pre-conference Planning

4月 022012
When I first attended SAS Global Forum, you had to wait until you arrived at the conference to get connected with other attendees.   There wasn’t a good way to find out in advance who was going to attend or what they were interested in.   And if you weren’t attending for [...]
2月 042012
Sara started it, and I like the idea - the Unofficial Official Guide to SAS Global Forum.  My contribution to this unofficial guide is “The Agenda Builder and why it matters to me."  In case you're wondering,  I use it to: Convince my boss that I should attend.  Sure the Dumbo ride at [...]
4月 012011
Rick is another guy I've gotten to know throught the SAS users group community, mainly through mutual work with the NorthEast SAS Users Group (NESUG), where's held various leadership positions, including that of conference chair. I wish I had his stamina and motivation. Wait until you find out what he does "for fun" below. I'm sure that he'd love to meet you during this year's conference so that he can keep your feedback in mind when he takes the helm in San Francisco in 2013. It's never too early to plan ahead, especially when you're goal is to create another stellar event for thousands of your professional peers.

1. Why did you get involved with SAS Global Forum?

Rick Mitchell
I initially got involved at SUGI 23 in Nashville when I presented my first paper on a SAS technique to automatically report summary results from multiple regression models (this was before I could use ODS!). I was extremely nervous to get up and speak in front of a large audience, and I recall how friendly and helpful all of the SUGI volunteers were to help make everything go smoothly. The conference turned out to be such a great experience that I was hooked right away and immediately began working on my next paper idea, as well as helping out as a session coordinator.
Continue reading "Introducing 2013 Conference Chair-Elect Rick Mitchell"
4月 012011
I've had the pleasure of knowing Andy Kuligowski for years through our mutual work with local and regional SAS users groups. He's a huge hockey fan, and he's not afraid of rats, snakes or alligators (more about that later). His sense of humor is also famous. Read on to learn more about Andy himself and his role at this year's conference, and be sure to say hello and introduce yourself. He really will welcome your feedback.

1. Why did you get involved with SAS Global Forum?

Andy Kuligowski
In a nutshell: Because someone asked. I was named co-chair of the Posters section for the SouthEast SAS Users Group (SESUG) '94 Conference. I attended SUGI 19 (now called SAS Global Forum, of course) in Dallas, TX early in 1994, and went to consult with their Posters chair for hints about running the section. I also asked if she had any recommendations for potential speakers willing to come to our conference that fall. The response was, "The best way for you to decide that is for you to be one of our Poster judges! Here's a clipboard, here's a schedule. This isn't a problem, is it?" It wasn't ... That was the second SUGI I attended, and I've gotten more active every year.

Continue reading "Introducing 2012 Conference Chair-Elect Andy Kuligowski"
4月 012011
So, as most of you know, SAS Global Forum is right around the corner and I, for one, can’t wait to get to Las Vegas! And no, it’s not because of the endless buffets and Elvis impersonators. It’s because this year we’ve worked hard to provide unparalleled opportunities to participate and engage through social media at the conference. From mobile apps to the new SocialSphere, the conference has numerous ways to engage…in fact, here’s my top ten:

1. Twitter: Follow @SASGLOBALFORUM and use the event hashtag, #SASGF11 to view event content and participate in the ongoing conversation.

2. Social Media Channels: Join us on Facebook and Linkedin to see what attendees and presenters are posting about and doing at the conference.

3. The SocialSphere is located within the demo area and as you can see from the picture above, you won’t be able to miss it. This is where you can learn about and engage with SAS’ social media efforts. From the SAS YouTube Channel to our recently launched SAS Software Facebook Page, stop by to see all that is offered.

4. Adjacent to the SocialSphere at the Social Exchange, you can find Kirsten Hamstra, SAS’ Social Media Manager, and I talking about all things social media and answering any and all questions.

5. “Ignite” Sessions? These are quick, 10-minute presentations provided by SAS social media experts on topics ranging from how to engage with authors online to maximizing your Twitter experience. Stop by the Social Exchange during Demo Floor hours for times and topics!

6. QR Codes! Never heard of them? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. QR codes will be presented throughout the Demo Floor…check in with us at the Social Exchange to learn how to use them.

7. Conference Mobile App! For the first time ever, SAS Global Forum has its own complimentary app that can be downloaded on your Iphone. It offers you the ability to see the dates, times and locations of events, speeches and presentations, create a custom agenda, view live Twitter updates and access links to relevant Web resources…all at your fingertips.

8. New Social Media & Networking Section. This section is brand new to the conference and has two distinct focuses: Social Media Analysis and how to engage with SAS through Social Media.

9. Videos! This year the Inside SAS Global Forum Video Series is being hosted by Anna Brown and will feature the latest and greatest from the conference. These videos will be featured on the SAS YouTube Channel streaming at the SocialSphere and on the SAS Global Forum Blog.

10. THE BLOG! See…you can already scratch off #10. We will have a myriad of people blogging from the conference so subscribe and check back here often for updates.

11. Any respectable top ten list has a number eleven and here’s mine…Talk to us! We want to hear from and about you. What are you doing at the conference, what’s your favorite presentation, who have you met, how many Elvis impersonators you run into? (Ok, maybe that’s just me.)

Please feel free to reach out to me ( or Kirsten Hamstra ( at any time with your SAS Global Forum questions or feedback. We’ll be covering the conference on Twitter as @Kirsten and @Postgrad. Look forward to seeing you there!
3月 312011
SAS Global Forum appreciates the support of its sponsors. I asked a Red Hat representative some questions so that we could get to know this valued Gold sponsor better.

1. What initiatives or goals are you trying to achieve by partnering with SAS?

To help SAS and its customers exploit the compelling value proposition for modernizing their IT environment on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and JBoss Enterprise Application Platform. More and more, as customers either upgrade to new versions of SAS, retire their aging RISC servers or move to the cloud, they are turning to Red Hat as a platform of choice. We are working with SAS to make this a seamless transition.

Continue reading "News from Gold Sponsor Red Hat"
3月 292011
SAS Global Forum appreciates the support of its sponsors. I asked a Teradata representative some questions so that we could get to know this valued Premier sponsor better.

1. Can you provide some background information on the Teradata Corporation?

Teradata is the world’s largest company focused solely on raising intelligence and achieving enterprise agility through our database software, data warehousing platforms, industry consulting and integrated marketing management. We’ve led the data warehousing market since our inception, with nearly 1,200 customers and more than 2,500 implementations. On any given business day in almost every industry throughout the world, well over a million users access a Teradata data warehouse for quick, precise and reliable intelligence to support business decisions.

Continue reading "News from Premier Sponsor Teradata"
3月 182011
I recently asked chair Debbie Buck some questions to help us learn more about the upcoming conference. Here’s what she had to share – good reading ahead!

1) How is this year’s conference different from SAS Global Forum 2010? What’s New?

SAS Global Forum 2011 includes a number of changes this year, while still retaining those features that have made SAS Global Forum such a great conference for the past 36 years. One change that everyone should be aware of for 2011 is that the conference runs Monday through Thursday, rather than the usual Sunday through Wednesday. This has led to some interesting (and sometimes entertaining) conversations among the conference team members in trying to clarify which days various activities are taking place. Don’t let this confuse you!

Continue reading "2011 Conference Insights from Chair Debbie Buck"
2月 102011
it's my headWe're just under two months away from SAS Global Forum 2011, and I'm feeling pretty good.

Oops, I shouldn't have said that. That's going to come back to bite me, I'll bet. But I've already checked off so much on my to-do list!

First, I got myself invited to attend. As a SAS employee, attending SAS Global Forum is a privilege and I consider myself lucky that I get to go. It's a ton of work to get ready, and it's like a roller-coaster ride once the conference begins; it will be over before you can say "Thank you. Thank you very much." But it's always a rewarding experience. This will be my 9th SAS Global Forum (née SUGI), but my first trip to Las Vegas. (And I can promise you: that won't be my last Elvis reference.)

Next, I landed an invited paper slot with Susan Slaughter, esteemed coauthor of The Little SAS Book series (with Lora Delwiche). Our paper is titled "Social Networking and SAS: Running PROCs on Your Facebook Friends," and it's part of the new Social Media section that was added to the conference this year. We've got great examples of how to use SAS to run reports on your Facebook friends and with Twitter content. For me, this is just a fun way to show off a huge list of my favorite technologies: SAS Enterprise Guide, FILENAME URL, XML LIBNAME engine, ODS Graphics and PROC SGPLOT, some custom .NET programming, data quality functions, and more.

Now that we've got the paper almost completely written (whew!), I can turn my attention to one of my core activities to prep for the conference: staging software to show off. SAS sets up and staffs a huge "demo room" every year at the conference, and there is tremendous preparation that goes into it. For my part, I'll help to install and test the deployments of the very latest versions of our BI offerings (including SAS Web Report Studio, SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office, SAS Enterprise Guide, SAS Information Delivery Portal, and SAS BI Dashboard). We stage these products on servers ahead of time, and then ship those server machines to Las Vegas. Some of us will arrive a couple of days before the conference kickoff to make sure that everything "boots up" and is operational.

After staging the servers that we ship ahead, we then get to stage additional laptop machines with additional content. We use the laptops to connect to the server machines, just as we know customers might do in their enterprise. We also use the laptops for "super demos" and paper presentations. Trust me: you can fit a lot of SAS software on a laptop.

Even though I've done a lot already, there is still much more to do to prepare for this conference. I've done this enough times that I know what to expect...except that I also know to always expect a few surprises. Who knows? Perhaps I'll even have an Elvis sighting.
1月 222011
There are over 400 hundred presentations to choose from at SAS Global Forum 2011. With all of these options, it pays to plan ahead. Why not start building your agenda now? The Personal Agenda Builder tool allows you to plan your conference schedule with point and click ease.
Continue reading "Start Building Your Personal Agenda Now"