Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2003 13:00:00 -0500
Reply-To: "Smith, Curtis, Mr, DCAA" <Curtis.Smith@DCAA.MIL>
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: "Smith, Curtis, Mr, DCAA" <Curtis.Smith@DCAA.MIL>
Subject: Re: The SUGI Opening Session
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
I prefer an opening session that gets me excited about SAS (not that I'm
not already excited about SAS). If I remember correctly, it was at an
opening session a few years ago that we got our first look at ODS. That
was great. It was technical as well as a sales pitch and it was relevant
because it was a new feature that was shipping at that time. I really
don't get excited hearing about new directions that I'm not going to
have in-house for another year. And I don't like sales pitches that are
not technical in nature. I don't like being bombarded with new buzz
words. SAS has enough improvements and new features every year that I
would think the opening session could be loaded with new stuff presented
in a technical way to get us excited. I do like some entertainment value
to keep the event fun. But, not at the expense of making the event
sooooo long. And, I share the Jack's observation that the magician did
not seem to have any tie into the message. I've never skipped an opening
session and I don't think I ever will. But, I seem to be getting less
out of them each year. What I really expect the opening session to
accomplish is to set the tone for the whole conference. I want to walk
out of the opening session and into the mixer really excited and glad
I'm at SUGI. I don't want to walk out of the opening session just glad
to finally be walking out of the opening session!
From: Jack Hamilton [mailto:JackHamilton@FIRSTHEALTH.COM]
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2003 10:12 AM
Subject: The SUGI Opening Session
There hasn't been much discussion on the list this year of the SUGI
opening session. Was it non-controversial, or has everyone given up on
it, or what?
- There was a lot of useful information which could have presented, but
it wasn't. In terms of getting a message across to a largely technical
audience, the session was not a success. I doubt if a non-technical,
managerial audience would have been impressed either.
- The session took twice as long as advertised, and that was too long.
Too much skit, not enough information.
- The entertainment, a magician, was impressive, but irrelevant, and in
some ways conveyed the wrong message.
- Some of the objectionable elements of old opening sessions were gone,
so improvements have been made.
I've heard from several people that SAS Institute doesn't exercise much,
if any, control over the content of the SUGI sessions, but that it views
the Opening Session as its opportunity to speak to SUGI attendees.
That's reasonable. I don't know how much SAS subsidizes SUGI, but it's
probably a good amount, and they deserve to get some attention for their
If you think of SUGI as being like a free weekend at a resort, and the
Opening Session as the two hour session with the time-share operator
that you have to sit through to get the weekend, then maybe the Opening
Session is more tolerable.
Is there anything in particular that SAS-L readers would like to see in
the opening session that we're no longer seeing, or anything that
definitely ought to be dropped? Or is it just that they should do a
better job using the current format?
Manager, Technical Development
Metrics Department, First Health
West Sacramento, California USA