0 Replies Latest reply on Mar 15, 2016 4:33 AM by Andy Piper

    What to do when your pants get too tight - managing TUG growth

    Andy Piper

      Being a TUG leader is great, isn’t it? We often feel a sense of pride or satisfaction in being able to provide the intellectual food that drives people to our meetings. Of course, there may be some hiccups along the line in terms of finding speakers or someone to host; but, the role we have as a TUG leader is an awesome one.


      At some point in time, however, you may realize that the spaces you currently meet in are not sufficient for the size of the audience that wishes to attend. So, what can you do short of going on an attendee diet? Below are some things that the Atlanta Tableau User Group has tried, contemplated trying, or are implementing to solve this dilemma.


      1. Meet more frequently
        1. if you currently meet but once a quarter and find that your meetings are full, consider meeting more often -- likely not everyone will be able to attend each meeting
        2. This can be a two-edged sword though, in that others now may be able to join the additional meeting(s)
      2. Start by querying current user group attendees
        1. Inquire at meetings who may have larger space available
        2. Ask a registration question on EventBrite
          1. Would your company be willing to host a Tableau User Group meeting?
          2. If ‘yes’, what would be the maximum number of attendees that your space could accommodate?
      3. Check the local scene
        1. Meeting space in the public libraries in Atlanta are free and many can accommodate groups of 25-30 people, with one or two as high as 100 – perhaps the same is true in your area
        2. Is there a local college that may be able to provide the space? If they use Tableau in the classrooms, it may be an easy sell.
        3. If your events are under 30 people, you may consider checking out local restaurants to see if you could reserve a private room for the meeting
          1. If you have a Total Wine and Spirits store in your area, they may be able to host a meeting -- http://www.totalwine.com/book-a-room.
          2. Use Google or other search engine to find event space near you for free
          3. You may have a restriction that all food/beverages must come from the bar/restaurant/establishment hosting, but that might be just fine
      4. Contact Tableau
        1. The sales reps in your area will likely have a pulse on each company using Tableau in the area and may be able to put you in touch with companies that have space
        2. If there is not a sales rep near you, contact Lauren and Jordan – they have been very helpful in these matters and have access to the knowledge of an entire organization that is eager for you to succeed as a user group



      We’ve run into space issues many times over the past 8 years. Initially we just met in a bigger conference room and then met more frequently. Over the past 2-3 years we’ve taken the show on the road to introduce the user group to more companies and are looking for space upwards of 100 people. Lately, we’ve discovered that space for 100 folks is too small and that seats for the events fill up within hours of the invitations going out.


      I needed access to bigger space. I had all but exhausted myself and ATUG attendees with requests for large hosting space from our members. Since we run our TUGs without a budget and all the free local meeting spaces were too small for us, I turned to Tableau. After contacting Lauren and Jordan about the dilemma, they put the word out to the Tableau sales reps in the area – often the sales reps are the people that have been pushing attendees to join your user group. They in turn reached out to their contacts at companies in the area that have large meeting spaces.


      I have since met with people from many larger Tableau installations in the Atlanta area. Some of the people I’m in touch with now have never been to one of our meetings; however, because they were instrumental in introducing and implementing Tableau at their respective companies, they wish to see Tableau succeed.


      Feel free to share your growing pains with the rest of the TUG leaders. I’m sure we can all benefit from what has worked (and not worked) for our respective groups.


      Best of luck with the growth of your TUG.



      Andy Piper

      Atlanta Tableau User Group