Tableau Conference Europe is taking place from 3rd to 5th July 2018 at London’s ExCel Centre. This is the first combined European conference in recent years. Previously there have been satellite ‘on tour’ conferences in major European cities such as Berlin and Paris with a larger event held in London. This year however there will be only one event held in London but it will be bigger and better than ever! This is also the first year Tableau are holding the conference at the ExCel Centre in Docklands; a bigger venue than Tobacco Dock where the conference has been held for the last two years. With that in mind, things are likely to be slightly different to what we’ve experienced before.

It’s hard to believe this will be my 4th London-based conference! Time really does fly! I still remember my first conference way back in 2015. I documented this last year along with my latter conference experiences in a blog post which you can read here: What to Expect at Tableau Conference on Tour, London #data17


I was planning to write a new detailed post with session recommendations this year (I like to do this every year) but I’m busy prepping for the Iron Viz competition (eek!)! I did however have a spontaneous Twitter conversation with Mark Kernke from Groupon earlier this week where we shared approx. 30 conference tips between us! Even Matt Francis and Neil Richards got involved in the conversation. Before these gems are lost in Twitterverse forever I thought I would document them here.

The conversation started when a few people struggled to find the recently released Tableau Conference app in the App Store:

Twitter Mark K

Initially our tips were light-hearted and focused on the app itself before we branched out into more general conference tips. While our tips were aimed directly at those attending the European conference in London they are equally as applicable to those attending this years’ conference in New Orleans.

30 Fun Tableau Conference Tips

  1. (Sarah) Never delete Tableau conference apps. This was more a tongue-in-cheek comment but I hardly ever delete apps, especially not Tableau ones! 
  2. (Mark) Check the Tableau conference app everyday once the schedule goes live on the conference site!
  3. (Sarah) Move your Tableau Conference app to the first screen on your phone so it’s easy to find once you’re at conference and you need to reference it every 5 minutes to figure out where your next session is.
  4. (Mark) Use the “Favourites & Notes” to follow the list you put together and not get distracted by where everyone else is moving (saves you time to get there, get a good seat for popular sessions)
  5. (Sarah) Rather than getting overwhelmed by the schedule, browse through the speaker section first to find talks by your favourite speakers. Click the star icon to add them to your favourites.
  6. (Neil Richards) Don’t panic, there’ll be a clash or two but that’s not the end of the world: sessions are recorded, just plan to maximise those you want to see.
  7. (Sarah) Is there somebody in particular you want to meet at the conference? Reach out to them via the messaging function available in the ‘People’ menu & arrange a time/place to catch up at TC.
  8. (Mark) After leaving a session, remember to rate it and leave feedback so it all keeps getting better year after year.
  9. (Sarah) Have a plan B. Popular sessions will fill up quickly & entry isn’t guaranteed. If you really want a seat, arrive early! In case you can’t get into session, always have a back-up talk to attend instead.
  10. (Mark) Look out for repeats of popular sessions or new content added last minute (Hyper sessions at #TC17 were not shown until after the keynote).
  11. (Sarah) Get Social! Follow the hashtag #TC18Europe on Twitter & join the conversation.
  12. (Matt Francis) See the Tableau Wannabe Podcast being recorded live! – Matt will be recording the podcast live at #TC18Europe with special guest co-hosts.
  13. (Mark) Participate in the live community sessions; User Groups, #MakeoverMonday and the #VizForSocialGood hackathon.
  14. (Sarah) Visit the Expo Hall & talk to the sponsors. Take the time to learn about their offering & how it could help your business. Don’t forget to pick up some swag while you’re there too! Note: You might need an extra bag for all your new t-shirts!
  15. (Mark) Track down that person you’ve been following on Twitter and talk to them about what you really enjoy in their work or their interests outside of Tableau.
  16. (Sarah) Write your Twitter handle on your conference pass. People may recognise you from Twitter but may not be 100% sure it’s you. Worst still, they could mistake you for somebody else they follow. This avoids awkward conversations & helps gain new followers.
  17. (Mark) Put your country’s flag sticker on your badge. And check out everyone else’s. It’s always nice to meet new people from home.
  18. (Sarah) Arrive to the venue early in the mornings. It’s great to catch up with people over breakfast before things get really busy.
  19. (Mark) Register on the Tuesday (the day before the opening keynote) to skip the queues.
  20. (Sarah) Wear comfortable shoes. You WILL do a surprising amount of walking over the 2.5 days of conference.
  21. (Mark) Everyone needs to get a snap at the photobooth with their #DataFam using the data themed speech bubbles. It’s pretty much mandatory!
  22. (Sarah) Bring a battery pack for your phone/tablet. There will be charging stations in the venue but this saves you having to rely on them.
  23. (Mark) Introduce people who should meet each other. Networking is even better when you share.
  24. (Sarah) Don’t be afraid to skip a session. Things can get a bit overwhelming if you’re attending sessions back to back. Take some time out to visit the Data Playground & network with others.
  25. (Mark) Book your time with the Tableau Doctor to get an expert’s opinion on all you ailments. You never know who might help you. – Francois Ajenstat (Tableau’s Chief Product Officer) has been known to cover Tableau Doctor surgeries in the past. Here’s the proof!Dr Francois
  26. (Sarah) Listen to the Tableau Wannabe Podcast to hear conversations with all of your favourite Tableau people.
  27. (Mark) Hands on trainings don’t get recorded, so it’s important to get there early for a seat.
  28. (Sarah) If you are thinking of taking a #Tableau certification exam you can sit them at conference at a discounted price.
  29. (Mark) Run! There is normally a large group who get up early in the morning to hit the pavement, even after Data Night Out! – If you’re interested in participating in the morning runs it’s probably worth contacting Andy Kriebel or Eva Murray.
  30. (Neil) Rule #29 is entirely optional! – Clearly Neil isn’t a runner!

That’s quite a long list of tips! I hope you find them useful. Feel free to add you own tips in the comments section below.

You can find out more about Tableau Conference Europe here. Don’t forget you can attend Mark’s talk “Balancing Processes & Automation in Groupon’s Centre of Excellence” at conference too.

You can download the conference app here: App Store |Google Play

See you on 3rd July!

Thanks for reading.