I’ve been attending the SAS Global Forum 2008 in San Antonio, Texas this week. Things started on Sunday with a couple of pre-conference workshops and the opening night gala.
This is the first time I’ve attended a SAS Global Forum. They’re held every year in a different city and are attended by thousands of people from around the world. As of last Thursday, they were expecting something like 3750 people to attend and that didn’t include the walk-up registrations.
The conference itself consists of 18 different streams, with some 300 or so different presentations to choose from, including some hands-on workshops in a huge room with a couple of hundred computers and an over-active air conditioning system. (It’s the coldest room in the venue, even given the 100+ computers and people.)
There’s also an area with poster presentations and SAS partner companies advertising their services. I found one of the posters in particular very interesting because I was looking to do something almost exactly like it at work, so I’m looking forward to trying its techniques out when I get back.
I’ve lost track of how many sessions I’ve attended over the last two days — after a while they start to blend together. But I’ve learned something new at every one of them.
In addition to the sessions during the day, the conference organizers arranged for keynote lunches. Yesterday’s speaker gave a hilarious presentation on worst programming practices that he’s encountered over the years in the form of a tongue-in-cheek way to ensure one’s job security.
Today’s featured lunch time presentation was by The Passing Zone, a pair of the most amazing jugglers I’ve ever seen. They talked about teamwork and demonstrated various points through juggling.
This evening was the Kick Back Party, an evening of food, drink and music. Lots of people and lots of fun!
As you can guess, I haven’t had a whole lot of free time, but I was able to make it to the Alamo before it closed yesterday (Monday) evening. The Alamo Mission is where the Battle of the Alamo took place in February and March 1836. You can read about it on the official website and also in Wikipedia.
Tomorrow is the last day of the conference. It wraps up around 12:30, so I’m looking forward to seeing a little more of San Antonio before I fly back on Thursday.
There are some pictures in my gallery and more that I haven’t uploaded yet.