Preparing for Tableau Conference


3 minute read


What is Tableau Conference?

Tableau Conference is the most anticipated event of the year for those who work with Tableau, analytics, or data in general.

It consists of four days packed with hundreds of wide-ranging breakout sessions, free hands-on training for all abilities, and endless opportunities to meet new people and have fun.

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year! Here are some highlights from last year’s conference.

How do I sign up?

If you haven’t already registered, what are you waiting for? You can sign up here.

In case you need help justifying this worthy investment, Tableau has written this handy document to assist you.

Awesome, I’m in! How do I prepare for this?

Tableau has a bunch of quick 30-minute webinars about why you should attend and what to expect.

I have listed my favorite tips below on what to do in the months and weeks leading up to this awesome few days of learning, connections, and fun.

Months Before Tableau Conference

Define Your Goal

Everyone that attends Tableau Conference will have different goals around what they want to get out of the week. Define yours and think about how you want to structure your week around it.

For example, First-timers may want to squeeze in all the hands-on training sessions they can, whereas veteran attendees may lean towards strengthening connections within the industry.

Whether you want to learn how to set up table calculations or a Center of Excellence, it helps to find your why and go after it.

That being said, do not be afraid to make last-minute changes. Anything can happen at Tableau Conference. Give yourself the freedom to deviate from your plan if a new opportunity presents itself.

Review the Sessions

Now that you have a goal, review the available sessions on Tableau’s website. You can use the filters on the left to narrow in on the topics and types of sessions that you are interested in.

Noting which sessions you want to attend now will help you quickly structure your week when the final conference schedule comes out.

Weeks Before Tableau Conference

Download The App Early

The Tableau Conference app is your lifeline to everything happening at the conference. It will contain the date, time, and location for every event during the week. Use it wisely!

Training sessions are included in your Tableau conference ticket and these sessions fill up fast. Make sure to download the app as soon as it is released and reserve your spot in these valuable sessions as quick as you can.

A possibly underused aspect of last year’s conference was Braindates. This portion of the conference allows you to organize or join conversations with small groups of people to discuss a specific topic. Check these out as they are great ways to share knowledge about your industry, answer a specific question, or meet like-minded people. I saw so many different topics last year including how to use Tableau to report on Finance data, to retire early, or to win Iron Viz. This is a must-try if you have not already!

Plan Out Your Gear

As you pack to head out on this awesome journey, here are some things you should make sure to bring.

  • Layers: Who knows what the temperature will be in any given room. Come prepared with an additional layer in case someone left the AC on a bit too long.

  • Comfy Shoes: With so many good things to do and see at Tableau Conference, you will be walking A LOT. Comfortable shoes will go a long way in making sure your feet stay healthy enough to make the most of your week.

  • Battery Backup: You will be checking the conference app, snapping pics, and connecting with others all day. Be sure to bring a portable charger to ensure you wont be left searching for a wall outlet.

  • Food and Drink: Bring a water bottle and light snacks with you so that you can float wherever your awesome data-loving self might want to go. There are also bound to be water fountains and snack stations set up around the conference to refuel your supplies.

Tableau Conference Week

Walk Your Schedule

If you are fortunate enough to arrive early to Tableau Conference, take some time to walk around the event center with a map to get familiar with where all the conference sessions will be held. There is not a lot of time between sessions and being able to look at the locations of your favorite sessions and know which ones are close to you can be super helpful.

You can also use your location knowledge superpowers to help those around you. See someone confused about where to find their next session? Swoop in and help them out!

Meet People

Saving my best tip for last!

Though Tableau Conference will be made up of people from around the world and widely different industries, there is one thing that we all have in common.

A love of data.

Don’t be afraid of starting up a conversation with anyone, whether it is a Zen Master, Ambassador, or just that person with a conference badge on the elevator. We are all there because we have a passion for data. Knowing this makes starting conversations easy!

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Thanks for reading!

Feel free to message me on Twitter or LinkedIn if you want to meet up at Tableau Conference or have any questions about what to expect.

I would love to hear from you!

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Hi! My name is Brad and I am an Analytics Consultant at DataDrive in Minnesota. I’ve always been passionate about making complex information simple for others to understand and utilize. I was introduced to Tableau, and was instantly hooked. I’ve enjoyed following my passion and am now lucky enough to use Tableau on a daily basis to help others!

Brad WernerDataDriveTableau