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Date:         Wed, 10 Jan 2007 22:06:08 -0700
Reply-To:     Alan Churchill <SASL001@SAVIAN.NET>
Sender:       "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         Alan Churchill <SASL001@SAVIAN.NET>
Subject:      Re: Why did they change the days of SGF (formerly known as SUGI)?
Comments: To: Andrew H Karp <sfbay0001@AOL.COM>
In-Reply-To:  <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

Lots of technical conferences occur during the weeks because a lot more people will complain about losing their weekend to a conference. Any day of the week is fine as far as I am concerned (I have billable work normally Sun-Sat or have my own stuff to work on). SGF is a productivity exercise and should be viewed as such. I don't see it as downtime as much as I see it in terms of opportunity.


Alan Churchill Savian "Bridging SAS and Microsoft Technologies"

-----Original Message----- From: SAS(r) Discussion [mailto:SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Andrew H Karp Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2007 9:23 PM To: SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU Subject: Re: Why did they change the days of SGF (formerly known as SUGI)?

Thanks very much to Don Henderson for his "official" posting on this topic on behalf of the SGF Executive Board and for the clarifications he made in it.

I'd like to add another couple of thoughts to this thread, please.

First, I think we all need to realize that the event formerly known as SUGI has become so large and now has so many "stakeholders" (speakers, attendees, bossses of attendees, SAS Institute, SAS "partners," etc.) that no matter what decisions the SGF Board makes as to location, dates, theme, contents, color of the tote bag, afternoon snack choices, etc. there are going to be some people who are not going to like those decisions and will either have to live with them or not go to the conference. That's meant as an observation, not a criticism.

Clearly the SGF Board needs, like any organization planning a large and complex event, to balance multiple considerations/demands and come up with an arrangement that they feel will benefit the most people while causing as little inconvenience as possible to other people and also while trying to keep the lid on prices. With respect to the last consideration, anyone who has been to an event at Disney in Orlando know that that's a worthy challenge!

Overall, I think that what is now the SGF Board does an outstanding job of offering a high-quality event for SAS users at reasonable cost. Sure, there are a few things I'd like to change about the event, and I am sure that anyone on this list who has attended a SUGI event could come up with at least one thing they'd like to see changed at it. It's also important to remember that many members of the SGF Board, and the "next rung" of leaders, such as the conference and section chairs, as well as most of the speakers, gladly perform these roles without compensation. That is one of the many reasons why what is now the SGF is offered at rates substantially lower (and at what I feel is much higher quality content) than many other conferences I have attended.

But, I think Mike Rhoads makes a good point that some companies that were willing to send people to a Sun-Wed conference (and have their people travel to it on a "non billable time" Saturday or Sunday) to the event may see the loss of one day of "billable time" times the number of attendees going to a Mon-Thurs event as a potential substantial economic and logisitcal loss to their organization. [Now, at this point, if I were on the SGF Board (which I am not, and never will be), my reply would be "yes, but just think of all the great things your employees will learn during the Mon-Thurs event that will make them that much more productive when the get back to work!," but I digress.]

But, if I worked for a company that typically sends 50 people a year to the event now called the SGF, I would have to carefully consider whether losing somewhere between 350 and 400 hours of time that can be allocated to billable client/project work on one day in April 2007 is an acceptable short term "loss" to my organization versus the potential benefits of sending people to a Mon-Thurs event.

And, if I worked for a company that budgeted three work days a year for my "professional development," I might have a hard time convincing the pointy-headed bosses that a conference that starts on Monday and ends on Thursday is really a "three day" conference in terms of time away from work. With the Sun-Wed format, many people could get four days of professional development in three "work days" by attending the Sunday seminars and opening session on "their own time" rather than on "company time."

If I was an east coast or midwest (US) organization, I might ask my people to fly to Orlando on Monday night after work or in the late afternoon to reduce the loss of work hours "spent" on their attending the SGF.

As Mike Rhoads correctly observed, if this dynamic occurs the effect will be seen what he calls the "Day Zero" events, including the Opening Session, at which the SAS Institute marketing folks clearly like to have a large (and enthusiastic) crowd.

On the west coast, I might have my people fly back on Wed night and skip the last day of the conference.

If, as Don says, the days of the week the conference don't impact (much) the price of airfare to/from Orlando (as a one million mile lifetime flyer on United Airlines my own experience in trying to discern the logic of airfare pricing is like trying to nail jello to a tree) some organizations may opt to reduce the number of days their people attend the conference and/or keep them slaving away at their keyboards a bit longer during SGF "week," thus increasing worked/billable hours and decreasing costs of attendance while still giving their (or most of their) staff a chance to attend most of the event.

So, the die is cast and we will just have to see how things play out, what with the change in the name of the conference and the change of the dates in 2007. Am I correct in my understanding is that the 2008 SGF conference will revert back to the "regular" Sun-Wed format?

Thanks for taking my thoughts in to consideration.

Andrew Karp Sierra Information Services

On Jan 10, 3:07 pm, tobyd...@HOTMAIL.COM (toby dunn) wrote: > Hey now Kevin if I remember right you still owe me some beer and a > cigar..... > > Toby Dunn > > To sensible men, every day is a day of reckoning. ~John W. Gardner > > The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice that > which we are for what we could become. ~Charles DuBois > > Don't get your knickers in a knot. Nothing is solved and it just makes you > walk funny. ~Kathryn Carpenter > > From: Kevin Roland Viel <k...@EMORY.EDU> > Reply-To: Kevin Roland Viel <k...@EMORY.EDU> > To: S...@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU > Subject: Re: Why did they change the days ofSGF(formerly known as SUGI)? > Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2007 15:02:13 -0500 > > On Wed, 10 Jan 2007, William W. Viergever wrote: > losing 4 work days vs. 3 -at least in my case- costs more than the > > savings from rooms & fees > > If you need rectification of this "problem", we have an open cubicle <g>. > > I probably won't be attendingSGFthis year, but cannot say for certain, > yet. > > One issue seems to have slipped by: > > Saturday Night Massacre. > > Where else might we otherwise be educated about which wines goes best with > which late night programming tasks?!?! Might just have to resort to the > answers I previously had: the open one; the nearest one; the nearest, > open, non-empty one; or the one William brought :) > > Never fear, though, if I make it, a bottle of tequila (or mezcal) will > find its way to the SAS-L BOF :) > > (To steal from my highly esteemed, good buddy Viergever...) > > Out, > > Kevin > > Kevin Viel > PhD Candidate > Department of Epidemiology > Rollins School of Public Health > Emory University > Atlanta, GA 30322 > > _________________________________________________________________ > Your Hotmail address already works to sign into Windows Live Messenger! Get > it now

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