If you’re headed to the conference, here’s a couple of pointers to prepare/look out for. I would highly recommend being organised so you can be open to random opportunities that arise.
- If you have food allergies – pack accordingly. There’s food everywhere but all pickup food stations
- Comfy walking shoes. The conference is MASSIVE and you’ll be on the go from breakfast of 3AM for a week.
- Buy Conference Swag ASAP. The store was clear out by Thursday. You can always order online but its just not the same!
Learning at Conference
- Plan your sessions ahead of time (and create back up plans). I did my schedule in Excel so I could keep track of it all. Take into account the travel time between venues if you can.
- Make your life easy and just let go of the FOMO. There are so many amazing events and sessions. It’s going to happen – so just be happy with the plan you’ve committed to. I remember feeling so much stress on my first day and Emma from TIL also shared this sentiment. Her advice? You gotta let it go!
- Feel free to leave a session, if a session is really terrible/too full for you to absorb information. Its about making the most of it for you.
- Check out the Vendor Expo. I think of it as a professional development session in itself! Ask lots of questions– they’ll be happy you did.
- Take notes during sessions. I carried my laptop around.
- Pick good speakers. Its also tough for those preparing the sessions – its a lot of work! Some might not have a had enough time, not great public speakers etc.. so that’s going to reflect in the end product.
- Get good seats. Last year, people in the back probably had a hard time because many of the rooms were long and skinny with no screens for the back end of the crowd.
- Create a WhatsApp group with your travel mates
- With 15,000 people, you’ll need it to help navigate where’s the best sessions, events etc.
- Go out and socialize. Tableau folks are some of the friendliest, quirky data analysts around. What a world of difference it makes to meet them in person!
That’s all I can think about for now. Any others I missed? Let me know in the comments!
See you in Vegas!