2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 16, 2018 12:42 PM by Kirstin Lyon

    Learnings from a new-ish TUG Coordinator

    Kirstin Lyon

      Starting your own Tableau User Group can seem daunting, especially for those with no prior experience of organising events (never mind a Tableau User Group!).  The Tableau Community is known as being an enthusiastic bunch of people who are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to help their fellow tableau-ers!  So how to create a local community they will want to participate in?

       

      The Copenhagen Tableau User Group became active again in April 2016, and below are three of my key learnings

       

      • Understand your audience.  Some people want to listen to presentations, others want to play an active role in the event, and some want to learn something practical they can use the next day. Not everyone will want to do all three. Most coming to an event are beginner-intermediate and can be intimidated by the very advanced users.  On the day, talk to as many people as you can, and invite people individually to be presenters. For those who get in touch to cancel, invite them to the next event.  We ask additional questions on Eventbrite regarding experience level, and will continue to experiment with questions so we can help understand our audience better. We are looking to include more ice-breaker tasks to encourage more networking within the TUG.

       

      • Get inspired.  Not sure about what to present?  Take a look at other user groups, and ask questions on the Tableau User Group board. Contact Tableau to find out if there are any consultants in the area around the time you’d like to run an event. The User Group Newsletter contains many helpful links and suggestions that can be used. And if you are stuck, look at the material from the Tableau Conferences to see if you can re-use any presentations for your user group. Another great resource is Meeting in a Box. We vary our content so that sometimes it’s a hands-on session, other times it’s a group challenge (like Makeover Monday), and sometimes it’s presentations about how Tableau is used, or complimentary tools. Our experience is, we get better feedback, but a lower turnout, for the events where it’s a group challenge, or where more networking is involved.

       

      • Delegate responsibility. There are many aspects to running a successful event and they all take time to get right! This includes, finding speakers, a date, venue, refreshments, making the announcements, handling event registration, advertising, timing on the day, tasks after the event, etc.  Find other local Tableau users or event organisers who can help (e.g., logistics, advertising), so that you can do what you are good at. 

       

       

      Organising a TUG is rewarding, and you'll meet people you would never have met any other way.  It's very rewarding to see a room full of people discussing how they use Tableau, or trading tips and tricks in a friendly atmosphere.  Sometimes parts of the event don't quite work as expected, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter.  Just learn from it, and try something new next time.

        • 1. Re: Learnings from a new-ish TUG Coordinator
          Siraj Samsudeen

          Hi Kirstin,

           

          Thanks for sharing this. I ran 5 TUG meetings in 2016, but then could not run any in 2016 and resumed again with a meeting yesterday and there were 75 people - it is very satisfying to run a meeting like this. I want to know more details from you on these 2 things:

           

          1. We ask additional questions on Eventbrite regarding experience level

          2. We are looking to include more ice-breaker tasks to encourage more networking within the TUG.

          • 2. Re: Learnings from a new-ish TUG Coordinator
            Kirstin Lyon

            Hi Siraj,

             

            Apologies for the incredibly slow response. 

             

            1. We always include a question relating to the person's experience with Tableau (just trying to get a feel for who comes).  And sometimes we include extras, like how they found out about the event (for advertising) and perhaps a question relating to the topic (again to help the speaker).

            2. At the start people would come, listen, then leave.  There wasn't much networking happening.  I'm not sure if ti's a Nordic thing or not.  One day we thought about including an ice breaker (it was valentines day, so obviously we did speed-dating).  It worked really well and we found more people networking at the end of the event (which was one of our goals anyway).  After that, we continued with an ice-breaker at the start so that people could get to know each other in a less forced way.  We've tried tableau bingo, quizzes,  dividing up by data rea and pictionary.  It's always woroked well - and seems that people like doing it too.

             

            Hope this helps.

            Kirstin