Hello TUG Community!
In October the Seattle Tableau User Group partnered with the Tableau Academic team to host a Viz Fair. This was a science fair formatted event held at the University of Washington with the goal of inviting students (graduate and undergrad) to join our community and see the way local companies are using Tableau and data to solve business challenges. It was a great way to encourage dialogue between the presenters and attendees. The remainder of this post includes our lessons-learned and useful information for you to host your own Viz Fair. If you'd like to see a video of our event, check out this link.
- Provide an opportunity for the community to experience the various ways businesses are using data and Tableau to solve challenges.
- Provide an opportunity for strong community members to showcase their work, their company, and further their presenting skills/credentials.
- Provide an engaging environment where attendees feel welcome and encouraged to interact at each booth. Slow their pace around the room by incentivizing them to complete surveys or vote for best booths. This can be accomplished various ways. We considered using QR codes at each booth tied to Survey Monkey. This would allow quick tally of results with the ability to reward the top presenters before completion of the event. This wasn’t meant to be public, but to go along with the incentive to present. Another option was to simply vote for favorite booths with stickers. Each booth had a specific color pen to mark off the attendees’ booth visit. This in turn entered them into a raffle to win an award.
- Identify presenters
- To pull this event off, strong relationships across the community are required. The incentive to host a table may not be clear as you reach out to the community, so explain the ‘why’ as strongly as possible.
- Use ‘mail-merge’ or friends to help get initial email invites out. We started with around 75 individuals who had expressed interest to provide short presentions at SeaTUG. The initial email “campaign” was not very fruitful. Since I had the strongest relationship with this community, I followed up personally to encourage their participation and to refer anyone else that might also be interested. (See emails below for examples).
- Make sure committed presenters receive the information needed. This can be time consuming, but will ensure the presenters are comfortable with event set up and have a good expectation about how the event will be run.
- In addition to “business” presenters, we also provided two booths providing Tableau tips and tricks and one booth showcasing some interesting Tableau Public work. These booths gave attendees a place to ask basic or more complex questions.
- The key- to restate- is all about communication with presenters ahead of the meeting. Again, see the attached for examples.
- Venue- University of Washington
- Booths (monitors, power strips and extension chords)
- Event welcome and instructions (handout for presenter feedback and raffle)
- Viz Fair Toolkit
- Template letters to invite presenters (attached)
- Event wrap-up to presenters (attached)
- SeaTUG Viz Fair Video (link)
Viz Fair- Event Communication.docx 135.3 KB