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A beginners guide to Tableau Conference – 2019 edition

The Tableau Conference was held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center this year (and will be again next year in 2020). I had the opportunity to attend (several weeks ago) and decided to write up my thoughts about it.

This is an introverted newbie’s guide navigating the conference.

The conference started on Tuesday with pre-conference sessions that you had to register (and pay for). I did not attend those.

Tuesday night there was a big welcome reception that I very nearly bailed on because of how many people there were, but I decided to give it a shot anyway. I’m glad I did.

The welcome reception (as well as all of the meals) were held in the data village (basically the convention show floor) which was a little weird but it worked.

In the reception they had industry specific areas (healthcare being one of them). I didn’t know this going in … I just kind of stumbled into it.

This was the luckiest break I could have had as I sat there there entire night and met about 10 people. Three of them (Josh, Kerry, and Molly) I spoke to the most, so much so that we decided that we’d go to the ‘ Data Night Out’ (the client party) together.

Being super introverted this was not my jam, but I’m glad I went, and I will go again next year.

Each day is jam packed full of sessions. I didn’t come across any sessions that were not worthwhile, although some were better than others.

You do have to register for the session in order to gain admittance to the room (they scan your badge to make sure you belong) but there seemed to be stand by room in most of the sessions I attended.

Keynote events

There are ‘Key Note’ events to kick off each day. They happen in the Mandalay Bay events center, but there is also an overflow room you can watch them from.

I would recommend going to at least one event in the events center, but as an introvert the overflow was really more my speed. A room that could sit 500 people with only 50 in it … yes please!

Iron Viz

A take on Iron Chef, Iron Viz was a chance for 3 Tableau wizards to showcase their skills with Tableau and a shared data set. It was really interesting to see the different ways that the data could be presented and the different stories that each competitor told for their visualizations.

Data Night Out

I didn’t do this, mostly because by Thursday I was pretty overwhelmed and just needed a quite night in. I don’t regret not going, but I think I will make myself go next year

Data Culture

I’m going to write more on this once I get my head really wrapped around it, but suffice it to say, this is something that I think is going to be very important going forward for the organization I work for.

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