Each year Tableau software hosts several large multi-day conferences Tableau Conference in the USA and Europe. They’re amazing and totally worth going to!
If you do end up going to one, I want to give my top 5 tips on how to to maximize your attendance and enjoyment from Tableau conferences.
1 – Plan and Prioritize
When you see the awesome schedule for TC17 you’ll soon realize that you won’t be able to see everything. So definitely look at what’s on and plan what you’d like to see during each time slot (downloading the app will help with this massively, which you should have a link to in your welcome email). Like my talk, especially if you’re new to or on the fence about using Tableau #ShamelessSelfPromotion
The good news is a lot of the sessions will be recorded and posted to attendees later, so you have a good chance of seeing one if you choose another over it. If you do have one you really want to see, make sure you get there early to reduce the chances of being turned away.
Lastly, have a backup session to attend if you can’t make your first choice. Sometimes a session will hit maximum capacity or it’s too far to walk to – so having a backup a session to avoid disappointment.
2 – Socialise
Whether you’re an extrovert or introvert, I’d highly recommend you say hello and chat to people. There will be over 10,000 attendees with a passion for Tableau or data visualization, so you’ll have something in common to talk about right away. Not only might you make a new friend, but it’s also a pleasant way to pass the time whilst waiting for a session to start. So be sure to say hello to your neighbours when you sit down.
3 – Pack for the day
Treat each day of the conference as a mini excursion. You’ll probably not go back to your hotel room until the end of the day, so bring what you need to keep going. Things I found useful are:
- Battery pack(s) – to charge your electronics
- Bottle of water
- Business cards – to keep in touch with all of those people you’ll be talking to
- Comfy shoes – as you’ll be on your feet and walking for a long time
- Something warm to wear – aircon be cold, to
4 – Get involved
You’ll soon start to see Tableau is more than just a piece of software, it’s a community. There are a lot of sessions and sections to get involved and participate in these communities, so be sure to come to these and participate. Some of the ones I plan on going to are:
- Womendata (find proper name)
- Tableau Public
- Makeover Mondays
- Zen Masters community sessions (If you come this this one, you might even meet me as I’m the first Tableau Zen Master in the APAC region)
5 – Have Fun!
Sure you or your company have paid to attend and you need to extract value out, but remember you’re a human being. You have to make sure you’re enjoying yourself otherwise what’s the point? If you’re feeling drained and need to recharge yourself, go back to your room and have a nap. You also don’t have to stay out late each night if it’s not your cup of tea.
Each Tableau conference will have a lot to offer you in terms of content and fun events, so your fear of missing out will be greatly diminished.
Hopefully you’ve found this a useful primer for attending TC17 or future Tableau Conferences. If you have more questions, be sure to ask them in the comments below. Lastly if you want to get a feel of what a Tableau Conference is like, check out the video below from my TC16 experience:
Hope to see you all these in a few weeks!