By Elissa Fink 19 Juil, 2009

It's finally here - after a year of preparing and planning, we kicked off our 2nd Annual Tableau Customer Conference. What a pleasure it is to see it all come together. But the best thing is seeing customers and colleagues - some who are returning (like Dana Zuber, Bill Attridge, Steve Wexler, Michael Cristiani) and some for the very first time (Jim Griffin, Dawnita Gilmore, Margaret Rivera, Mr. James Austin). Over the next few days, I hope I'll have the chance to meet many or most of our 300+ attendees.

Today started with a couple of pre-conference workshops, both filled to near capacity. 112 people signed up to become designated as "Tableau Certified Professionals" and 58 joined in learning from the master, Stephen Few. Tonight is a friendly cocktail reception and tomorrow kicks off with a keynote from CEO Christian Chabot. We'll have sessions all day, with VP Engineering Chris Stolte and his team of developers mid-day showcasing some of their favorite and emerging development efforts.

Now if tempted to join us, it's actually not too late. And in fact, inspired by comments from Ted Cuzzillo, I realize that there are at least 3 reasons you should come that we never told you about.

  1. 1. The food. Yes, we are a bunch of foodies and we put our money where our mouths are - literally and figuratively. So far, it's been yummy - delicious poached salmon, harvest greens with candied pecans, Pacific Northwest wines, a cheese board to die for. Do I need to go on?
  2. 2. The hotel. It's brand new (maybe 6 months in service) and quite swanky (all the way to the spa and fitness center). Yes, it was a little too rich for many customers' budgets (we're sorry) but it was something we signed up for well before the October crash. Nonetheless, there's something fun about trudging through a lobby that still has the new carpet smell to it. And no grimy corners or marred walls yet.
  3. 3. The office. As in getting out for a few days. Sometimes you just need a change of pace and scenery. This is a great conference for that. You'll go back refreshed and energized, even if you don't hit every session. Did I mention the new hotel with its fabulous spa and fitness room?
  4. 4. The city. Okay, we did mention this before so it doesn't technically count. But seriously, Seattle in the summer is a slice of heaven. (And let me tell you - in the winter, not so much.) It's a beautiful city and the days are long, sunny and mild. This year's conference even gives you time to explore.

So if you can make it to Seattle over the next day or so, come on over the Hyatt at Olive 8 and register. But if you can't, stay tuned for blog posts and tweets - we've committed to sharing interesting news and points of view all during the conference. Look for posts with the tag #TCC2009.