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We are fast approaching the single best Tableau event of the year, and you’ll soon start to see blog posts rolling in that are aimed at helping you tackle this massive event. These will all be must reads for anyone attending the conference this year, and I’m hoping this post will prove to be equally as value, while also providing an alternate path to conference happiness.

Let’s start with the agenda. You know what I say? Screw it.

Some Many of you are going to want to do this.

You are going to write down EVERY session that you simply can’t miss, and then you’ll find out that well, you are going to have to miss some. Please do yourself a favor and don’t plan too hard, this should not be a stressful week for you. My advice, pick 1 or 2 breakouts per day that are going to be far better to witness in person than they will be on the recorded version. Seek out the Zen Master sessions, seek out the sessions that seem downright silly.. hell a session on porn and Pok√©mon literally changed my life in 2014.

But my company wants me to come back and show them all of the things I learned… how am I going to do that when I only go to “fun” sessions?

Stop it! Now!

Remember how I just told you that sessions are being recorded, and you will have access to them? Learn later, get inspired NOW. Your employer is going to get a far better ROI out of your trip if you come back with a fire under your ass, feeling recharged with new passion for data visualization, and armed with outside of the box perspective on how to take your work to the next level! Do you really want to spend a week in Las Vegas feeling like you were in school the whole time? No, you don’t. If you have to come back with new learnings, come a day early and take one of the many training workshops that Tableau offers, you will never get them for a better price than at the conference.

So you’ve ditched the agenda, you’ve been inspired by some Zen Masters… hell you are feeling pretty damn Zen yourself. What now?

There is lots of beer at Tableau Conference, that’s my suggestion.

Enjoy being around people that share a similar interest to you! How many times in your life are you surrounded by 10,000 other people JUST LIKE YOU? Hey INTJ over there… come talk to me, I really do want to meet you. I’m an introvert by nature, but I do my best to let that part of myself go for TC, it will be to your benefit if you can too. Some of my closest friends are people that I see once per year at this conference, and my life would not be the same without them.

Don’t like beer? Fine, there are plenty of margaritas for you.

Quick fire tips:

Wear comfortable shoes.

Get some sleep.

Oh, and make sure to go to Iron Viz, I promise you’ve never seen anything like it.

Don’t take vegetarians/vegans to BBQ restaurants.

Leave room in your bag to bring home your new wardrobe of tech shirts.

Get a pic with the Pauls.

Don’t be afraid to talk to “stars” of the Tableau world, watch out for Kriebel though.. he is kind of a clown.

Oh… get to keynotes early and sit in the mother effin front row!

Buy your Tableau swag early in the week.

Eat all the food.

Regret it later.

That is all… basically, make a vacation out of it… you can have a ton of fun and still learn along the way. Go back to work feeling inspired, but a little dead inside that you have to wait another year to go back.

Love you

Comments ( 3 )

  • Lorena Vazquez says:

    Since you did call me out (INTJ over here)I’ll make sure to find you and say hi. Conferences are usually harder for me because after a few hours I’m drained. I’ll make sure not to plan too much and have fun. Will be my second time going! Last year was such a great experience.

  • Scott Strool says:

    Great post.
    I did the opposite on my first conference, these words are so true. Have fun and you will learn something. I’ll be looking for you to say Hi.

  • Andy Kriebel says:

    Some amazing tips!! And I’m not THAT weird.

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