7 Replies Latest reply on Jul 27, 2016 8:36 PM by John Thompson

    Finding new members in a small community

    John Thompson

      Hello everyone,

      I just restarted my local Tableau user group in Yakima Washington last week. I had eight people show up to my first meeting. For me it was a great start. I've been using Facebook, twitter, linkedin, local news paper event page, and my Tableau user group page to promote my events.

      Is there anything else I can do to draw attention to my group to find new members?

      Here is a link to my next months event:

      Beginner Tips and Tricks using Tableau Tickets, Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 7:00 PM | Eventbrite



      I want to mention I have no sponsors and I am self funding my group.


      Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated

        • 1. Re: Finding new members in a small community
          Christopher Scott

          Hey John,


          You are certainly on the right path!  I'd say one of the biggest keys is regularity and consistency.  When I first started my internal TUG it was all about giving people the opportunity to come to a regularly occurring meeting and taking some of the pressure off if they could not make the one BIG quarterly event.  Those events are great, don't get me wrong, and there's something to say about driving hype and anticipation but for just getting started you will have to just persevere and keep holding meetings, even if only 8-10 show up for a while.  Also you will begin to notice after the first few who your "core" team is going to be and definitely utilize them (be careful of burnout by asking them to do too much, but they keep coming because they're passionate and want to be involved...so let them take some of the load off).  As far as funding and sponsors/location...get in touch with Jordan Scott and she can help you get in touch with some local sales reps and businesses using Tableau.  A side note, having an incredible sales rep who is passionate about not only Tableau but the success of the community has been one of the biggest ingredients to our success!  The community is arguably the best part about Tableau and I can guarantee there are others close by that will help you out with at least a venue and most will want to grab some food or pick up the tab at the after party!!! 


          Time is your greatest ally and your greatest enemy in this first leg of your journey...so keep it up and please reach out to any of us in the User Group community if you need any support or advice!



          Christopher Scott

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          • 2. Re: Finding new members in a small community

            John Thompson, great question! Christopher Scott already provided some great ideas, and I'd just like to echo what he said. I'm the co-lead for our group in Des Moines Iowa. Obviously we don't have the same size or scale as larger markets near us (Minneapolis, Chicago, KC). However, the other co-lead, Kimberly Martorano's passion and enthusiasm is what helped us through our first few meetings. You are doing as much as you can - advertising via social media, and even getting local media involved is a great start.  Over time you'll see your membership of 8 start to talk and via word of mouth alone your membership will grow. however I'd also advise reaching out to the Seattle TUG and maybe see if there are other TUGs close by that you can either partner with or join with to help build your membership.


            depending on your membership, i'd also advise seeing if others would be willing to host the next TUG at their employer....sometimes having a TUG offsite during weird hours can make an impact on membership, and having your TUGs at various employer locations will help spread the word. Leveraging areas like public libraries as well could help.


            You've done some tremendous work already...best of luck! Our TUG is just finishing our first year, so if you find a secret to grow your userbase, let me know!

            2 of 2 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Finding new members in a small community
              Andy Piper

              The Atlanta market is HUGE; but, like most TUGs, we started small. The following items really helped us get started:

              • Started with a handful of core companies that had at least 5 users
              • Started meeting in the space provided by those companies (so their 5+ users could attend and that company would be given the opportunity to present on what they are doing with Tableau)
              • Started meeting at set times (i.e.:  3rd Thursday of the month between 1-4PM) so people could put on their calendars well in advance (even though the location may differ and not be known ahead of time)
              • Have topics of interest and presented at the level your users can understand
              • The burn-out factor also applies to you; so get others involved (particularly someone from a company with many users)


              Some other thoughts:

              • If some of your target companies have internal TUGs, consider combining your TUG with theirs for some meetings
              • Conduct a survey asking what times/days of the week/month work best, what topics people wish to see, who would like to help coordinate, etc.
              • As indicated by Christopher, get to know the sales rep(s) in the area -- a TUG in the area is a great sales tool, and the rep will want to send as many people your way as possible.
              • If you need speakers, reach out to the Tableau community -- while many presenters won't be able to come in person, many are willing to do a WebEx of their presentation to your audience.


              Best of luck with the TUG. Let me know if there's anything I can help with.



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              • 4. Re: Finding new members in a small community
                John Thompson

                Hi Christopher,

                Thanks for the great tips on helping get this group off the ground.

                Some of the guests that came to my first meeting were from the local university and hospital.

                They were both new to Tableau and were interested in learning more how to use it in their jobs.

                I'm looking forward to my first hands on demo.

                My plan is to go over some basic tips I've learned from watching Youtube videos and last years conference videos.

                Wish me luck.

                • 5. Re: Finding new members in a small community
                  Lee Feinberg

                  Hi Christopher,


                  Building on some of the ideas posted:


                  We have our meetings at a customer site and ask that host to provide light refreshments.  Some go all out with a nice dinner spread!


                  More importantly, we create the agenda around something that is important to the host so that draws fellow employees. 


                  Also, people like to visit other locations and see what's going on -- especially if you can find a start-up with a hip space.


                  Also, ask the folks who attended your first meeting to bring a colleague to the next one.  Double the size right away.

                  (I actually just thought of this and am going to use it at my next meeting )


                  I keep an email list of all reps in the area and email them a link to the meeting so they can directly invite their customers.


                  If you ever want to chat, feel free to grab time on my calendar >> book 30 on Lee's calendar


                  Best regards,


                  2 of 2 people found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Finding new members in a small community
                    John Thompson

                    Hi Lee,

                    Thanks for all the great advice.

                    The support here is so great.

                    I've already sold 5 tickets for my next meeting in Aug.

                    I will keep the community updated as I get closer to my first teaching experience.

                    Wish me luck.

                    • 7. Re: Finding new members in a small community
                      John Thompson

                      Hi Andy,

                      Thanks for your tips on starting a new Tableau User Group.

                      I really like the idea of setting up a Webx to get a guest speaker.

                      I will keep the community up to date on my progress.