Tableau Conference 17 - Nicole Kraft


    Mandalay Bay

    This year's conference is located on the Las Vegas strip at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.

    What to do ahead of time:

    Plan out your sessions ahead of time. Download the conference app and pre-register for hands-on training. Breakout sessions may fill if you’re not early enough so be prepared to have a backup or two. Can’t find one? It's a good time to visit the schedule scout, Tableau Doctor or the Labs.

    Schedule time to meet up with your Tableau Rep. This is a good time to connect, especially if you’ve never met. Some reps may already be planning something with their clients.

    What to bring:

    • Comfy shoes
      • You will walk and walk and walk – be prepared. Last year there were 7 hotels and the Austin Convention Center to navigate. This year all sessions should be located in Mandalay Bay, but it’s still huge!
    • Tableau attire
      • Unless you’re job hunting or presenting, the conference attire is casual. Wear your favorite Tableau shirt – or buy one there if you don’t have one.
    • Sweater/sweatshirt
      • Outside it may be warm, but the rooms can be cool, especially when you’re sitting for a long time.
    • Business cards
      • You’ll be surprised at the number of people you meet and names can be quickly forgotten. To ensure you can follow-up after the conference, exchange business cards.
    • Download the conference app.
      • Build your schedule in it, it will be kept up-to-date for any changes. It should be available mid-September if not sooner.
    • Be ready to Tweet!
      • Don’t have Twitter? Get it now. Pay attention to the hashtags (#TC17). Your tweet may get featured on the big screen during keynotes.
    • Flash drive(s)
      • If you attend any of the hands-on sessions or any training workshops, Tableau will have a zip file loaded on each computer of the TWBX files. Take a copy of them! These will be the starter and solution workbooks for the sessions.
    • Should I bring my laptop?
      • Tableau provides computers for all the training and hands on sessions. There’s little need to bring one unless you use one to take notes (even then - bring a tablet).
    • Final words of advice, things to do:
      • You're five minutes into a session and realize it's above or below your experience level. Get up, leave quietly, and go to your backup session. Make the most of your time. Don't stay in a session that doesn't fit your needs.
      • A backpack is a great way to carry all your stuff.
      • Attend at least one session by a Zen Master!
      • Attend at least one session just for fun. Last year I attended the Art Institute of Chicago's presentation, The Art of Insight. It was a completely different industry and had different use-cases than I have, but I really enjoyed it and I actually learned a lot.
      • There is no lunch hour built in to the schedule. Make sure you don't overbook yourself.
      • Snack and drinks are available between sessions (fresh fruit, granola bars, chips, etc.). And, there are typically several coffee bars to get your daily latte or cappuccino fix.
      • You will leave with information overload, guaranteed. Try to soak it all in while you're there.
      • Get away from the hotel and see some Vegas sights. Some of my favorites from 2015 are at the bottom of this page. See a show and sight see a bit.
      • You can always review your notes and compare them to the recorded sessions if you missed something.
      • When you get home: go through your business card stash, connect with those you met.
      • Share what you learned at the next TUG meeting.



    Authors & Keynote Speakers: Levitt & Dubner

    Daily Activities


    • Check in as soon as you arrive – grab some buttons/swag for your nametag.
    • Find out when/where your shuttle will pick you up every day - if you are not staying at Mandalay Bay.
    • Training Workshops & Certification Exams
      • These are offered at a great price; well below regular site training and exams.
    • Makeover Monday
    • Featured Speaker: Talithia Williams - Big Data Expert & Professor, Math & Statistics
    • Hackathon
    • Data + Women
    • Meetups – network with people in your field, by job role, or by topic
    • Welcome Reception - Data Village
      • Enjoy the music, food, photo ops, etc.


    • Tableau keynote speaker: Adam Selipsky, President & CEO, Tableau
    • Devs on Stage
    • Meetups


    • Keynote speakers: Steven D Levitt & Stephen J Dubner – Freakonomics authors
    • Meetups
    • IronViz
    • Data Night Out - in 2015, Tableau held its Data Night Out on Fremont St. They literally closed of several blocks for us! There were live bands and of course, Elvis impersonators. And the food and drink weren't bad either. I can't wait to see what they have planned for us this year.


    • Keynote speaker: Adam Savage – Mythbusters
    • Meetups
    • Certification exams

    Week-long opportunities

    • Tableau Labs
    • Tableau Doctor
      • Schedule early to ensure a spot, or two, or three
    • Tableau Store
      • Need some swag? Books by the keynotes? Gifts for your office?
    • The Expo Hall
      • Vendors, tableau store, food, etc.

    Viz Competition for Attendees

    Are you tracking your biking, running, walking, or any other type of exercise data? Then this competition is for you! If you’re interested, you can get all the details here: And make sure to join the conversation using #FitData17!  

    After Conference

    Shortly after the conference, Tableau will post all conference materials and the sessions that were recorded. Schedule some time to go over sessions you missed.

    Can't Make it This Year?

    • Get your boss on board! Tableau provides a justification template letter (found on the "about" page of the conference site).
    • Sign up for Tableau Conference Live: you can livestream the keynotes – watch the conference site, or Tableau should send an email. This is also where you will find the recorded sessions after conference.

    VEGAS insight:

    • The temperature will be in the upper 80's all week!
    • The Mandalay Bay has a rental car agency. Rent a car and check out some sights in/around Las Vegas. Or travel on the Monorail along the strip.
    • There is something for everyone: several Cirque du Soleil shows (Ka is amazing!), Michael Jackson One, Cher, George Strait, Ricky Martin, shark reef aquarium, Brad Garrett Comedy, David Copperfield just to name a few.
    • The Hoover Dam is about a 45 minute drive from the strip.
    • The Grand Canyon Skywalk is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from the strip (see below)
    PAWN STARS!   Visit the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop


    Visit the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop

    SHELBY AMERICAN !  The Carroll Shelby legacy at its best. See classic cars, get a tour, and learn about amazing race history. Daily tours are available.


    The Carroll Shelby legacy at its best. See classic cars, get a tour, and learn about amazing race history.
    Daily tours are available.

    GRAND CANYON SKYWALK !  Just a 2 1/2 hour car ride...


    Just a 2 1/2 hour car ride...

    Contributor: @NicoleLKraft