WUSS 2024 Presentation Format

WUSS offers an array of presentation formats to accommodate speakers, attendees, and the diverse content being presented. This flexibility aims to ensure that presenters enjoy presenting, are comfortable presenting, and are able to convey their knowledge effectively.

At WUSS 2024, presentation formats include:

  • lecture, in which the presenter speaks to a classroom for 20 or 50 minutes.
  • hands-on workshop (HOW), in which the presenter runs software examples live for 45 or 75 minutes while attendees interactively run the same examples on their laptops.
  • demo, in which the presenter runs a live demonstration for 20 or 50 minutes for an intimate audience of no more than 20 attendees.
  • SAS-quatschen (i.e., SAS “chatting”), in which the presenter facilitates a roundtable discussion for 20 minutes for an intimate audience of no more than 20 attendees.

When submitting your proposal, you’ll be asked to select your first and second choices for presentation format. Please read the below descriptions before making your selections.

Both paper presentations and paperless presentations (see the Presentation Tracks webpage for the distinction) can be presented in each of the above formats.

Lecture Format

Lectures are by far the most common method of instruction at WUSS conferences, with approximately 60% of sessions (roughly 48 hours of content, when breaks are included) taught as lectures. The format is straightforward—the presenter talks, and the audience listens. However, lively discussions can erupt, and some presenters welcome and actively encourage this interaction.

The vast majority of lecture presentations are scheduled for 20 minutes—that is, 20 minutes of content followed by no more than five minutes of questions. A select few lectures are accepted for 50 minutes of content, followed by no more than five minutes of questions. Regardless of presentation length, each presenter must vacate the room no fewer than five minutes before the next presentation to ensure the next presenter has ample time to setup.

Some presenters choose to stand behind a podium while others walk around the classroom. WUSS provides all A/V equipment, including a remote laser pointer (that advances slides) to facilitate interacting with your presentation while roaming.

At WUSS 2024, lecture classrooms will accommodate approximately 90 attendees. This is one of the actual rooms where you’ll be speaking! Note that most lecture classrooms (as shown below) do not provide tables, so lecture presenters should not expect attendees to have access to a laptop.

Hands-on Workshop (HOW)

HOWs are the most interactive of all presentation formats, in which the presenter runs live code or data analytic exercises while the audience (optionally) follows along on their own laptops. HOWs are a favorite of WUSS attendees because they can walk away with sample programs and code snippets that they can run at a later time. HOWs comprise approximately 20% of WUSS sessions (roughly 16 hours of content, when breaks are included).

HOWs are offered in 45-minute and 75-minute increments. Both formats provide an additional five minutes for final questions, after which the instructor must vacate to ensure that the next HOW speaker has sufficient time (at least ten minutes) to setup.

HOWs are predominantly taught by seasoned veterans whose credibility has been inarguably established through past presentations at prior conferences. However, if you are new to WUSS, yet believe you have exceptional qualifications and content and would like to be considered for a HOW, please submit a HOW proposal, and describe your significant teaching experience in the “Comments” field of the WUSS Submission System.

WUSS utilizes the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) method for HOWs, in which attendees bring their own personal or professional laptops. Because of the diversity in operating systems (OSes), software applications, software versions, programming languages, and myriad other aspects, HOW presenters should aim to make their presentations (and exercises) as portable as possible. Nevertheless, as attendees will not be able to install programs or data prior to the HOW session, the presenter should expect to spend roughly the first ten minutes distributing files and helping attendees with configuration and other initialization tasks. For example, here is one HOW presenter from WUSS 2023 instructing his attendees how to download files from his GitHub repository.

The two primary methods for file distribution, which occurs at the beginning of the HOW session, are private GitHub accounts and the WUSS file server. Both methods ensure that anyone with Internet access can acquire the files—live during the HOW as well as later during the conference. For this reason, HOW instructors are required to submit all files to WUSS (as part of their submission) well in advance of the conference. Thus, note that USB thumb drives/dongles and email are unacceptable methods to distribute files at the conference for HOW sessions.

The abstract of any HOW proposal should describe the content being demonstrated, as well as the system or software requirements and any caveats or limitations. For example, if the HOW requires SAS 9m7 (version 9 maintenance release 7) or later for exercises to run, this must be stated in the abstract. Similarly, where open-source languages such as Python are being demonstrated, the required version of Python must be stated, as well as packages that must be installed. Finally, where the HOW requires a specific environment (such as SAS Viya or SAS Enterprise Guide), this must be stated. Always, this specificity is to ensure that attendees are aware of not only the functionality being demonstrated but also the requirements or limitations that may exist.

Not all attendees will run examples live on their laptops, but most will. For this reason, all HOW classrooms are arranged in “schoolhouse” style, with ample table space and accessible outlets. Many HOW instructors, as below, choose to sit during their presentations so they can more readily type code and run examples.

When submitting a HOW proposal, it is insufficient to merely “talk about” examples you intend to provide; these examples need to be demonstrated, either in your white paper or your slide presentation. That is, any HOW proposal that does not include sufficient examples of what code will be demonstrated will not be considered for the conference proceedings.

COMMUNITY CORNER / RESOURCE CENTRAL

Resource Central is the hub of the WUSS conference, where vendors, speakers, and attendees congregate together. Snacks abound, hot coffee appears periodically, and the hum of tech discussions is unceasing, shattered only by the laughter of friends carousing. As the nexus of conference life, Resource Central is invariably where the masses head—between sessions or during downtime—whether to chill, chat, or just check email.

There might be a table in one corner fraught with crayons, and frantic statisticians relieving their aggressions on adult coloring books, or even on the white paper “tablecloth” beneath. In another corner, a game of Twister is being played, with such compromised dexterity that the sobriety of the participants could be questioned (yet never judged!) In a third corner, a photographer snaps LinkedIn-ready professional photos—always complimentary for all WUSS conference attendees. And what, pray tell, occupies the FOURTH CORNER of Resource Central?! Well, that’s the Community Corner, and that’s where the real action is!!

The Community Corner offers an intimate yet open environment for presenters, with seating for only about twenty, yet unlimited standing room for onlookers and wanderers alike, both of which are encouraged. Community Corner stands alone in its uniqueness and attractiveness, in that whereas WUSS classrooms require you to open a heavy metal door and commit to entering, the Community Corner has no physical barriers. And as currents of intriguing conversation waft throughout Resource Central, others are enticed to join.

Two presentation formats are hosted in the Community Corner, demos and SAS-quatschen, as detailed below. These Community Corner formats comprise 20% of WUSS sessions (roughly 16 hours of content, when breaks are included).

Demo

Demos showcase bleeding-edge technology, methods, and solutions, taught by industry-leading subject-matter experts (SMEs). Attendees are not provided code, data, or other files, and do not run the examples, as they do during HOW presentations. Nevertheless, interaction is fiercely encouraged, and presenters often “drive” the talk based on input from participants.

With no more than twenty chairs huddled around a single monitor, there’s little distance between the speaker and the audience, and this facilitates open communication, comments, and questions. The demo format is invigorating and keeps a faster pace than most HOWs because there’s no setup delay while files are downloaded and installed. Similarly, the instructor never needs to pause while someone is running (or haplessly debugging) code. It’s this off-to-the-races start that enraptures demo attendees, as well as ensnares even the latecomers—because you’re always joining the talk during the action and never during a lull.

Most demos last 20 minutes, although an occasional demo is scheduled for 50 minutes. Because of the interactive format, which typically cannot be conveyed through either white papers or presentations, most demo instructors are invited by WUSS based on past performance in lectures and HOWs. However, if you would like to propose a demo for WUSS, please include a link to a video that features you giving a live demonstration (or a virtual webinar) in the “Comments” field of the WUSS Submission System.

SAS-quatschen

Quatschen—German for “chatting” or “talking”—aptly describes what goes on during these highly prized roundtable events. There’s no table, per se, but the quasi-oval arrangement encourages interaction, and signals that this is a discussion forum, not a lecture. Thus, SAS-quatschen presenters act as facilitators above all else, and should be as skilled in listening as they are in speaking (as well as in their respective knowledge domains of expertise).

Some SAS-quatschen presenters speak from an easel, as shown below, while others talk through a slide presentation. In other cases, a technical book author might facilitate a talk in which they pass around a book they have authored, and showcase chapters and sections of interest to eager attendees. At WUSS 2022, one creative presenter even hosted a rousing game of “SAS Bingo” during a SAS-quatschen session, with prizes awarded to the participants who hollered first. Thus, this somewhat informal forum is often best leveraged by those thinking outside of the box, and WUSS welcomes this heartfelt innovation and initiative in your proposals!

In all cases, SAS-quatschen presenters still must submit either a white paper or a slide presentation as part of their proposal. This is required so that the WUSS Academic Team can appropriately weigh the proposal against other submissions. However, unlike other presentation formats (e.g., lecture, HOW, demo), SAS-quatschen presenters are afforded more leeway and aren’t required to show the presentation during the facilitated discussion.

Be a Presenter

If we’ve answered all of your format-related questions and you’re ready to submit a proposal, please navigate to the WUSS 2024 Submission Guidelines page (below) to begin.