It's that time of year again! Tableau Conference is just around the corner and we’re jazzed to connect with our brilliant Tableau Community in New Orleans. With over 420 sessions and meetups in four action-packed days, this conference is gearing up to be an unforgettable celebration of data and the people that bring that data to life.

Whether it’s your first Tableau Conference or you’re a seasoned veteran, follow these top tips to help make the most of your Tableau Conference experience.

Plan smart with the TC18 mobile app

Download the Tableau Conference app: It will be your source of truth for everything at Tableau Conference. Refer to the app for the most current information about keynotes, session descriptions and locations, along with maps of the convention center. Download and learn more about the mobile app here.

Build your schedule: Explore hundreds of hour-long breakout sessions and thirty-minute mini sessions to hear directly from customers, partners, sponsors, Zen Masters, and more. In the app, tap the star next to the sessions you’d like to attend to build your custom schedule. Breakouts and meetups are first-come, first-served, so show up early to nab a seat. Hands-on trainings can be booked once per time slot and require pre-registration or joining the standby line for access. Double booked? We have you covered. Tableau keynotes and most breakout sessions can be viewed after TC18 ends with Tableau Conference Live. Register for reminders so you don’t miss a moment.

Need help planning your schedule? Schedule Scouts can help you navigate the wide world of conference sessions! Schedule Scouts are located in the Great Hall Foyer on Level 1 in the convention center. Find the exact location on the map in the mobile app.

Pack your bags and plan your week

What to pack: You’ll see all types of clothing at TC. Wear what makes you comfortable (literally). You’ll be walking a lot, so this includes comfortable shoes. And there’s no better place to rock your favorite Tableau t-shirt. New Orleans can be humid in the fall, but convention centers are notoriously chilly, so bring options for layering in potentially wet weather. Other necessities include a small bag, something for note-taking (we recommend pen and paper to give your shoulders a break), a backup charger for electronics, and a refillable water bottle. Pro tip: Laptops are provided in hands-on trainings unless otherwise specified.

Want to snag a new Tableau tee or a souvenir for future data rockstars? Swing by the Tableau Store in Data Village to pick up the latest Tableau gear.

Tableau Doctor appointments: Data ailments got you down? Schedule a 45-minute Tableau Doctor appointment in the TC18 mobile app to meet one-on-one with a Tableau expert. If you just need a quick fix, you can also visit the Tableau Doctor Walk-In Clinic or stop by the Minute Clinic in Data Village when it’s convenient for your schedule.

Learning beyond sessions: Stop by Tableau Labs in Data Village to learn about the latest features from the Tableau developers that built them. And find out how you can influence the future of Tableau products with your feedback. Spend your spare time in Data Village to meet with sponsors or learn about training options at TC and beyond from the Tableau Customer Solutions team.

Find your way at TC18

Navigating the convention center: Register and pick up your conference badge in the Great Hall Foyer. Ready to mingle or grab a bite to eat? Make your way south to Data Village, the hub of Tableau Conference. You’ll have all of your conference meals in Data Village with the option to grab quick snacks at dashboard delis.For current information about locations, including sessions and keynotes, check the TC mobile app. Pro tip: Items are pinned on the venue maps in the app.

Shuttle information: Give your feet a break and take advantage of the complimentary shuttles that offer routes between TC hotels and the conference center. Whether you are staying at a nearby hotel or an Airbnb, you can hop on at any shuttle stop with your badge. Check the mobile app for shuttle times and routes. You can also use the shuttle to go to and from Data Night Out at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. For security reasons, there will be metal detectors and bags will be subjected to search. To avoid long wait times, it may be best to bring a small bag or none at all. And don't forget your badge—it’s your ticket for Data Night Out.

Expand your data family

Share knowledge with Braindates (new this year): Braindates give you the opportunity to expand your network and turn a crowd of thousands into your new crew. Meet with groups of 2-5 people for intentional, 30-45 minute knowledge-sharing conversations. Dive into the app to find a topic that interests you. Have a topic you’re eager to discuss that isn't listed in the app? Create your own! Meet up at your scheduled time at the check-in desk in Hall B-1 to connect with your (soon-to-be) conference buddies.

Industry and role-based meetups: There are countless ways to connect with other data lovers at TC. With meetups throughout the week for Healthcare, Finance, Marketing, Fanalytics, and more, browse all of the options in he mobile app in the schedule builder. These are first come first serve, so make sure to get there early.

Diversity and Inclusion at TC18: We have several events that focus on diversity and inclusion like the Data + Women panel session on Tuesday. There will also be a Growing Diversity in Leadership meetup and a Diversity and Inclusion Town Hall on Wednesday to discuss ways data can help create more equality in our communities.

See you in New Orleans!

If you’re new to TC (or just want a refresher), check out one of my three Intro to TC18 for conference newbie sessions on Monday to get pro tips and tricks on how to maximize your time and help you connect with other data people.

For more information, check out the Know Before You Go webinar and look out for emails from the Tableau Conference team before things kick off. And tell us why you are excited to be attending by posting a video on Twitter with the event hashtag: #TC18.

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