#Data22– My 7ish Tableau Conference Hot Takes + Bonus Tips

Pictured are KT, Annabelle Rincon, and me at the Keynote

Hot Take 1 | Tableau really cares about its community

Hot Take 2 | Product integration and in-tool development... it's in the cloud

Hot Takes 3 and 3.5 | The community is iffy on initial product integrations with Tableau

Product Integrations

Hot Take 4 | Non-English language support has taken a back seat — this needs to change immediately

Hot Take 5 | Marketing integrations… bruh, don't take away our Tableau

Credit: Salesforce (a Tableau parent company)

Hot Take 6 | People who attend the conference are great… but not very diverse

Hot Take 7 | Sessions and keynotes are fab, but what makes the conference extraordinary is friendship-building and networking

Quick Tips

Tips for Tableau/Salesforce

  • Bring virtual brain dates back.
  • Give more space for community sessions — customer sessions are valuable, but the community sessions are often the most impactful. Unfortunately, I missed so many I wanted to see because so many conflicted.
  • Record community sessions or provide recording equipment for those that want it. Although there is a lot of great content online, many of the virtual (and in-person audiences, as mentioned above) missed out on noteworthy presentations. Fortunately, many are committing to TUGs to provide a virtual version, but seeing a version of the in-person one can be more electric.
  • Keep us a little safer. If CoVID iteration 100 is ongoing, requiring vaccination during the next conference and providing self-tests and temp checks would be helpful to give some peace of mind for attendees. I am fully vaccinated and understood the risk when I went and also know the local rules were applied; given that, many people did come down with CoVID, and a number of those were unable to test until they went home because self-tests weren't brought (most mild, and possibly some on the plane ride home, fortunately).
  • Have a community keynote event besides Iron Viz. Again, the demand is there as some community speakers filled up large breakout rooms (and one presentation team did it multiple times on the same day).
  • Salesforce executives and employees — please continue to be a presence at the Tableau Conference. Your support of our community reduces uncertainty and confusion about the Tableau/Salesforce integration. We need to understand each other better and work to be a unified entity — we can achieve much more together than separately.

Tips for New Conference Attendees

  • Keep 1/2 a suitcase or carry-on empty for swag.
  • Come at least one day before the conference. There are plenty of people there and opportunities to hang out and connect before the big event.
  • Bring comfortable shoes. If able, you will be doing a lot of walking, and make sure to prioritize comfort over style. A light day of walking will probably be 5 miles, and I cannot imagine much less than a 3–4 mile day.
  • Do not fill up your entire calendar with sessions. You can register for most at the event. The last thing you want to do is box yourself in at the conference — being open provides for many more fun and spontaneous opportunities (again, as a planner out of necessity, it’s weird for me to think and share this — but think of it as planning to be open).
  • Say 'hi' to those you recognize in the community and Tableau. There were people I admired and was nervous about meeting with but happy to tell them how much their work meant to me in person. I haven't met a more approachable group of people (even if we are a collection of nerds). In addition, Tableau employees love to meet and greet the community, so say 'hi' to them and the community team members.

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Adam Mico

Adam Mico

Principal, Data Visualization and CoE at Moderna | Data Leadership Collaborative Advisory Board Member | Tableau Visionary + Ambassador | Views are my own