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SAS Global Forum 2008 - International Forum and Reception

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Click here for Invite to SAS Global Forum 2009 - International Forum and Reception

Summary of 2008 Discussion

Aside: 70 Denmark attendees arrived two hours after reception. (SAS office organized travel.)

General Thoughts from notes taken by Kim LeBouton

Please feel free to edit.

  • Why do you attend SAS Global Forum? (Question on website)
    • Overwhelming for technical content
    • Several attended for non technical reasons
  • Broaden the scope of preferred airlines.
  • Many companies allow travel within Europe, but not in US.
  • European doesn’t have a technical conference. This is the only big technical conference.
  • Provide a “letter template” to assist international attendees to justifying attending North America conference.
  • Like to see European SAS Offices should put forth the technical nature of conference.
  • SAS Global Forum seen as too semicolon. Germany using new products.
  • See papers in advance. Attendees did not realize that abstracts were available before Christmas nor were they aware of papers available a week early. Do the international SAS offices understand this? (A participant from Finland.)
  • For attendees from developing countries, stress the importance of how much SAS is used by those working with emerging issues (e.g., poverty). Potentially a different market segmentation. “Issues for Countries versus Technical/Business” (A suggestion from a participant from Chili.)
  • More technical papers for those supporting SAS Solution for those working with the solutions but are not a base SAS programmer. Not enough content on Data Integration. (A comment from Belgium.)
  • Attendees that were also involved with European user groups (the ‘;’ folks) felt that they had the rug pulled out from them over five years ago.
  • Europe has “Marketing Events with some Technical” while SAS Global Forum is a “Technical Meeting with some Marketing.”
  • An attendee from South Africa pointed out that attending this conference cost equates to one month salary.
  • Brisbane User Group believes that the SAS users need to embrace

Show of hands?

  • How many would attend 3rd Forum? Majority.
    • Rephrased
    • Europe? Majority
    • Africa? A few
  • Funding?
    • 1/3 Independent
    • 2/3 Permission from Management.
    • Many UK companies must get approval to travel abroad, including European conferences.
  • Other thoughts?
    • More SAS offices helping organized travel.
    • Have past SEUGI attendees being reached out to?
    • Location didn’t matter.
    • Would like to see other SAS European offices represented.
    • 1/3 of people will return next year.
    • Over 1/3 will attend in a regular basis (every year, every other year, every 3 years)

Formal Invite

You’re invited to a special International Forum and Reception at SAS® Global Forum 2008

The SAS Global Users Group Executive Board invites you to attend a forum and reception for international attendees at SAS Global Forum 2008.

The Executive Board wants the SAS Global Forum, our annual international meeting of SAS users, to be truly international. We want to hear from you about ways to engage more international attendees and improve their experience at the annual meeting. We hope you will share your reasons for coming to this year's meeting and give us ideas about how we can increase the chances of you being a regular attendee and of bringing some of your colleagues with you. We would also like to learn if there is a role we can play in addressing any needs in your countries and localities.

The reception, with light refreshments, will be at the Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center in Room 206 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 16, 2008.

Please come. We look forward to meeting and hearing from you in San Antonio.

Questions posed prior to Event

If you have any questions, that you would like to have addressed, please post them below. Add # before your question.

  1. Why do you attend SAS Global Forum?
  2. What are the obstacles to your attending SAS Global Forum in the US?
  3. Are they things we could do differently that would make SAS Global Forum even more appealing?
  4. Would a networking opportunity among other international attendees be a valuable experience?
  5. What other SAS meetings do you attend? Other meetings of any sort?
  6. How long do you stay in the US around SAS Global Forum?
  7. Do you take advantage of pre and post conference trainings? Topics of interest we could add?
  8. Do you know if any of your colleagues wanted to attend the SAS Global Forum but couldn't? If so, do you know why they did not attend?
  9. If we take into account that a lot of international users uses NLS. Why don't SAS Institute provide also tagsets in markup language usable in a NLS environment?
  10. Is it possible to divide the technical nature of SAS Global Forum over individual continents or countries?
  11. From which continent/region/country outside of North America do most delegates attend SAS Global Forum?
  12. Why when unicode and DBCS are not new ideas do we still have National Language Support problems (like perl regular expressions to name just one)?
  13. The original appeal for me was the technical content of SUGI. In SAS Global Forum that remains my primary interest. The new ideas make the Demo Room an Aladdin's Cave! Can we extend HoW and tutorial type presentations without upsetting SAS Training?
  14. Do you feel that attendance at SAS Global Forum enhances your resume and chances at the next contract/job interview? Is it worth more than Certification?
  15. Would such a forum/conference be more or less effective on a local scale?
  16. Could the executive board ever hold SAS Global Forum outside of USA or North America?
  17. How much do the International delegates add to the Forum?
  18. Being a "global" forum - is they any chance for the SAS Global Forum to be on another continent other than North America? For example Europe or Asia/Pacific. This would provide further globalisation (and possibly more international attendees) with the SAS community in covering Europe (assuming SAS are no longer having a SEUGI event) and to cater for us Australians in providing the SAS Global Forum in Asia/Pacific.


  1. Why do you attend SAS Global Forum?

( answers need not all be posted here. Of course those who want to respond to these questions but are unable to attend should be able to contribute. The "Discussion" tab might be a better place.................. )

This is my first time to attend SAS Global Forum. During the past 5 years I have used SAS extensively but also combined SAS with Geographical Information Systems to identify the links and association between poverty and health conditions among Mapuche indigenous communities in Southern Chile. I have arrived to a stunning facts and conclusion: they get sick at higher rates than the rest of the population and unfortunately, they die also at higher rates than the rest of the population. Mortality is caused mainly by infectious but preventable diseases but the latter depends on Primary Health System intervention and timing before it's too late and become fatal. I have attended to this Forum because I think SAS would be able to develop a system (Business Intelligence) that would be able to integrate data, medical records and patient information of Primary Health Clinics scattered in the geography where indigenous people live, with the 27 Hospitals configurating the Hospital Backbone. Such data integration and geographical pinpoint of diseases would be the basis of a Health Intranet upon which policies of health prevention and intervention could be implemented. Moreover, if "universal health" will be the next standard in this country, such a system could place SAS in a very leading position in the area of on-line medical-financial records administration. I hope that by attending to this SAS Global Forum I will be able to find people of kind hearts and the intelligent minds to take the challange of how to improve the health conditions of the destitute by introducing innovations within the frame of Health Administration, Prevention and Intervention.

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