Are you considering submitting an abstract for SAS Global Forum 2017? Maybe you have already read the posts about how it helps your career and the excitement of sharing ideas. What is holding you back? Maybe you don’t have an idea, maybe you fear presentations, or maybe you just are unsure of the process.
I don’t have a idea
I bet this is the number one concern most people have. But I also bet you have a passion for SAS! You may have a love affair with one of the SAS products like SAS Visual Analytics or SAS Studio. Maybe it’s a cool method for solving a problem using the new Data Step 2. Did you make a better looking report by learning more about color? Any of these would be an excellent basis for a SAS Global Forum paper.
Check out the topics at the SAS Global Forum site to learn which topic areas they want. Then start generating ideas. There are several places to get inspiration. Check out the proceedings from past conferences to see what content was accepted in the past – here’s the link to 2016 proceedings, the 2015 proceedings, and the 2014 proceedings that contains the abstracts. You might see a topic that you can expand on. Perhaps you solved a similar issue and want to highlight another technique?
If you prefer to solve problems, check out the SAS Communities site. You can also read through the posts to see confusion points from others. You may not realize that importing Excel files is such a mystery. Maybe you routinely explain macro quoting so it makes sense within five minutes. Or maybe you have analyzed data and want to show off how SAS helped.
I don’t know what to do next
There are many ways to present information, such as an e-poster, a break out session, or a quick tip. If you are a little shy about your presentation skills, maybe you want to try an e-poster. This format allows you to present some slides to a small group. Think of it more like having a conversation. If you enjoy presenting to an audience, then lead a breakout session. Here’s a list of the session types.
Write Your Abstract
After you decide what session type you want, it’s time to write an abstract. Abstracts are about 5-6 sentences that explain what you are discussing. Stephanie Thompson, Datamum, had this advice: “The key to a good abstract is to ‘get to the SAS of the matter’ – meaning, your research, application, or whatever may be interesting but attendees want to know how did you use SAS to solve your problem/do something interesting. Abstracts that hit that do well.”
An abstract should answer questions. If you are reading the conference proceedings, think about what catches your eye. Probably it is an abstract that answers questions like “what will I learn from attending your talk”, “what skill will I learn or refine”, or “show me something geeky and cool”. You abstract should help the reader understand what they will gain from listening to you. If you need an example abstract – use the links to the proceedings above. All of those are examples of abstracts that were accepted.
Don’t forget the outline
With your abstract, submit an outline with your paper. It should give the person reviewing the abstract an idea about what you intend to cover. When I write an outline, I try to focus the subject to three topic areas. Then for each topic have a sentence or some bullet points that describe what you will discuss. Here’s two examples from outlines I submitted in the past: Topic 1 Outline (PDF) and Topic 2 Outline (PDF).
What If I Get Accepted?
After you submit your abstract to the SAS Global Forum committee (use this link), it goes through a review process. Each section team reviews the abstracts. They want to see new ideas, thoughtful ideas, and of course clever techniques. Plus they want to ensure there are not 20 papers on the same topic.[FAQs about presenting]
You will receive notice by mid-December. If your abstract is accepted, you can also ask to have a mentor assigned to assist you. The mentor works with you through the presentation process. He or she is a topic expert and provides guidance about the preparing the content. You can ask for a mentor at this link.
What are you waiting for – Seize the day! Go for it! Let’s do this thing! The deadline is October 3 – there is no time to waste.