What happens at a TUG?
Lots. They range depending on where you are attending. You get some customer speakers that demonstrate how they are using Tableau in their industry or business. This can be very useful to learn how to apply different parts to your own business life; everyone is always welcoming to questions too. It’s always good to know you’re not alone in facing the daily Tableau struggles that we all face! Some smaller user groups are able to take a more hands on approach and do a viz club, or some tips ‘n’ tricks training that you can take away to use in your own dashboards & analytics.
Each TUG is usually followed by pizza, most of the time, and a cheeky beer (or soft drink if you prefer). London is the biggest one here in the UK and where you will find a lot of the British community – it’s like a reunion each time. They hold competitions for tips and tricks, which is both amusing and informative, I almost always learn something new! There are also loads of top speakers sharing their insights into Tableau and visualisation, always worth the trip!
How do I get involved?
Follow @Tableau and @cloudstream_uk and keep an eye on #LondonTUG (or the hashtag for your local TUG) and #Tableau, while there's not always an official twitter account for the TUGs there's always plenty of buzz in the community. If you’re struggling to find a TUG near you drop @Tableau a message and they will be able to point you in the right direction. Want to share – become a speaker! Contact your TUG organiser, they're always looking for people wanting to talk data! You can share your data journey or work experience with how you tackled a certain problem or even some excellent vizzes you made. Another place you can also find a lot of the user groups is on the Tableau website under Events, failing that then get in touch with your Tableau account manager. I am sure they will know someone who knows someone.
Can I bring a friend?
Yes. Yes you can. It's understandable some of these things can be quite daunting to attend on your own so bringing someone for that social support is always welcome. However, if you are on your own you’ll make friends quite easily and feel comfortable. I was a newbie once so it comes without saying.
Social / Networking and more!
This is the great thing about it. You will get to know people and familiar with their faces and possible twitter names. Any time you get a problem, if you were to tweet a question the community will be straight in to help. Lots of social projects to get involved in too which will help your Tableau skills as well as personal development. Ask about #MakeoverMonday , #WorkOutWednesday , #VizForSocialGood or hey make your own hash tag up and just viz for the fun of it and wait for feedback if you so wish. Once you have met some of the community you will learn about a whole new meaning of events. Here following on from TUGs you have Data+Women, The Tableau Fringe Festival, you might want to join in on the BrightTalk Webinars, or even attend a conference – there is always something going on!
Don’t be afraid; be open to join the community. We are essentially a load of interesting and knowledgeable people all using the same tool facing the same struggles and having the same goals. Lots of people to learn from, this blog was inspired by new people I met in London who had recently moved here from Europe and hadn’t experienced the London Tableau community, so I thought i’d do my bit to spread the community spirit that little bit further!