One of the major reasons that people attend conferences is to network with like-minded peers. SAS Global Forum offers a plethora of opportunities for you to do just that. Here are some tips for making those important connections while at the conference.
What tips do you have?
I have found volunteering to be one of the best ways to maximize the networking benefit of conferences like SAS Global Forum as well as the regional and local user groups. Working alongside others provides a natural point of connection and builds camaraderie. For an introvert like me, this approach tends to be far more successful than trying to "work the room" at a mixer, and the connections seem more likely to develop into long-lasting professional relationships.
For me, SGF is all about the networking!
Some things that I like to do:
In the quad, absolutely approach the SAS employees working at the different desks. I've never found one who wasn't interested in sharing the work they do.
If it's a product you use a lot, ask about problems you're having, or things you'd like to do with it, or things you'd like it to do that it doesn't. Don't be surprised if your problem gets solved!
If it's a product you're interested in, ask for a demo. Think of a "thing" that maybe you could use if for, and see if they can do it. Learn something new! (I've always been fascinated by geomatics, I've never used it but I always check out what they can do with maps.)
If it's a product you don't know anything about, listen to the discussion, as other folks do the above. You'll probably learn something, and maybe have something to contribute!
The same applies to the SAS partners in the quad. I have my favourite, of course, but they're all great people, and they're there to solve your problems. Make them earn their money!
At the presentations, don't be afraid to hang around at the end of the presentation to ask questions. When I'm presenting, that's my favourite part, where I get to meet new people and see if I know anything that can help solve their problems. Or, sometimes they know something that can solve my problems! Just being part of the discussion is enriching, and you'll learn things you'd never have thought of on your own.
At the dinners, breaks, etc., introduce yourself. My line is "Hi, I'm Tom, I'm a SAS consultant. How do you like the conference?" It doesn't take much to get a conversation started, and I love hearing about the different things that people use SAS for.
Have a great time, and don't spend all your time looking at your cellphone!
I'll second @TomKari 's advice about talking to the SAS folks in the Quad. I'm one of those SAS folks and that's the reason I'm there. As a product manager, my job is to bring back requirements to R&D and Global Forum is a gold mine! You get so much more from face to face conversations and even if you don't have a specific problem or suggestion in mind, something always seems to come up when we talk. Plus the majority of the staff in the technology section of the Quad is from R&D which means the chances of finding someone working on what you're interested in is pretty high, and there's nothing like hearing what users want directly from the user. Quad conversations have a huge impact on software direction. So don't be shy!
Nerds especially SAS Nerds love to share and we love to hear your story.
I have been using SAS for 35 years and still learn something new at SGF. I meet new people who become code "buddies" or SGF "buddies" or just people who make my day.
I second all the poster's suggestions.
Co-incidentally, an article was published on Entrepreneur on 7 Characteristics of a Great Networker... I like the last point about farming, not hunting.
Networking is about building mutually beneficial business relationships. So what makes someone a great networker?
Being a good listener,
having a positive attitude,
and being approachable
are the seven characteristics of a great networker.
Each of these characteristics tie into the notion of farming not hunting.
FYI to those who haven't attended before. The SAS GF team does an awesome job at planning and logistics.
But every once in a while - yes - a popular topic can lead to a shortage of seats.
The tip: Arrive early!
Have a great SGF in Dallas everyone! Looking forward to seeing everyone.
I have two topics to share!
#sas @#SASGF #SASGF2019 #SASViya #wcsug
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