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FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions | Users Groups

Started ‎08-24-2021 by
Modified ‎07-25-2023 by
Views 2,126

This article is intended to help you understand the type of support that you can request and expect from SAS. Each group has different needs, especially as the nature of in-person events continues to evolve. If you have a request for additional help or have questions about what you see here, please let us know by shooting an email over to User Group Liaison, Shelley Sessoms.

 

What support can you provide our user group with?

 

  • Identifying Speakers 
  • Content
  • Email (invitation, reminder, thank you email)
  • Event listing on SAS website
  • Event listing on SAS Communities with post-event highlights, recording and write-up
  • Giveaways/SAS-branded swag items
  • Book certificates
  • E-learning certificates

 

We recognize that every User Group operates in its own, unique way. There is no “one-size-fits-all” or universal approach when it comes to our work together.

 

Need infrastructure? I am happy to create Microsoft Teams meetings to carry out & coordinate your events. We can add a registration to gather any information you may want from registrants and attendees. In addition to the meeting recording and transcript, I will provide you with the list of registrants for your reference and/or to build out your email lists in the future. 

 

Is there a list of available speakers for our upcoming meeting and/or conferences?

Yes, you can view that document by clicking on the attached hyperlinks at the top of this article. 📎 

 

We want to create a new Users Group in our community, where do we start?

Fantastic news! We are excited to hear that. Now that you’ve decided to form a SAS users group, it’s time to make the decisions that will put your group on the way to gaining the most from its experiences together!

 

These include the group’s objectives, structure, leadership, meetings and administrative functions.

 

  1. Check first to see if there is already a SAS users group in your geographic area or company.
  2. Form a UG committee. This is usually made up of two to five people who share responsibility for ongoing group activities to help the users group succeed.
  3. Confirm interest/viability. Many people who have started users groups — particularly local groups — have found that surveying potential members before formally organizing helps gauge backgrounds, interests and expectations.

Use the survey to elicit opinions about:

-Organization of the group (structured or informal)

-Time, length and frequency of meetings

-Structure of meetings (number and format of presentations, etc.)

  1. Create a mission statement or statement of purpose for your new group. It will help keep your group focused and let people know why they should join this new group.
  2. Define structure. Will this group meet in person or virtually? Maybe it varies. Are the meetings monthly? Quarterly? Twice a year? Making this decision early on keeps the group working toward its purpose without confusion.

 

Each group maintains their own webpage and/or social media accounts where they post meeting notices, highlight events and members, etc. Consider poking around on the different local and regional User Group sites to get a feel for how each group operates.

 

Why Form a Users Group?

Believe it or not, the collaboration between SAS and its users actually predates the official formation of the company itself.

 

The very first SAS users group conference took place Jan. 26-28, 1976, in Kissimmee, FL — and SAS wasn’t incorporated until later that year! More than 300 people attended, sharing information with each other and SAS leadership. The tradition that began there is alive and well today.

 

We continue to honor the voice of our customers and deliver new initiatives based on your input. That’s why we’re proud to support the active and engaged users in our local and organizational communities.

 

If there’s not an existing SAS users group within your area or organization, consider forming your own group to help you:

  • Foster connections and collaboration with other SAS professionals
  • Increase your understanding of SAS products and services
  • Stay up to date on new offerings and the latest techniques
  • Enhance your leadership and presentation skills

 

IHUG or LUG? Which users group is right for you?

In-house users groups (IHUGs) reside within a single organization and are a great way for colleagues to exchange ideas and improve organizational knowledge, methods and practices. IHUGs enable discussion of confidential topics and use of actual data. IHUGS are usually formed in partnership with the SAS account team for the customer so it is imperative that the IHUG leaders check there first. If that does not pan out then we can try to work with the group to help.

 

Local users groups (LUGs) bring together a broad range of SAS software users from different organizations within a specific geographic area, such as a city, county or state. They meet throughout the year based on their needs.

 

I am a part of an IHUG (In-House User Group) - HELP! Who do I contact? 

In-House User Groups will work directly with their Customer Success Manager from SAS. The User Group support team can work with them to provide a speaker or provide additional marketing support but as far as event logistics, meeting hosting, etc. that will be  carried out by the IHUG's Customer Success counterpart & contact at SAS.

 

What is the best way to communicate our needs?

I encourage you all to ask questions right here in this Communities group! Some people may be wondering the same thing as you and in other cases, they may have the answer.

 

Otherwise, please send your direct inquiries via email by contacting your User Group liaison directly at shelley.sessoms@sas.com

Comments

Was this helpful? What types of posts would you like to see? 

Yes, helpful!  Will think more about what sort of posts would be helpful to support LUGs.  In the mean time, I but @zekeT_sasaholic will have some good thoughts to share.  He's always thinking about LUG strategies and creating ways of building the SAS community.  Thanks @kateulveling !

@Quentin No - thank you!! Please let me know if anything comes to mind. How about you, @zekeT_sasaholic? Hit me with your best shot!! 

I was involved with starting an in-house group at the City of Dallas called 'the Mainframe SAS Users Group' back in 1984, co-founded the local users group in 1986 that still meet each quarter called the North Texas SAS Users Group (notsug.org). I was a co-founder and past president of a regional called South Central SAS Users Group (scsug.org), and served 4 times as a SUGI section chair, 10 times as a SUGI session coordinator, and worked as a room facilitator with the SGF held in Dallas. One thing that's common at each level is the desire to share SAS with fellow SAS Users. The rest comes together. Since starting a group and being involved is volunteering, keep it fun. 

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Last update:
‎07-25-2023 09:52 AM
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