The Call for TC16 Speakers Is Now Open

Giddy up, y’all, it’s time for the rodeo! After months of waiting, the moment you’ve been looking forward to is here: TC16 customer speaker applications have officially opened. The deadline to apply is April 29, 2016.

Giddy up, y’all, it’s time for the rodeo! After months of waiting, the moment you’ve been looking forward to is here: TC16 customer speaker applications have officially opened. The deadline to apply is April 29, 2016.

Customer speakers are a huge part of what makes the Tableau Conference such a special event. Year after year, we hear that customer sessions are the highlight for attendees. Representing a diverse span of industries, use cases, and organizations, we welcome the highest caliber of customer speakers to TC. We hope you’ll apply to join us this November as one of our amazing customer speakers.

We look forward to hearing all about what you're building with Tableau. Click here to access the application.

Got questions? We've got an FAQ!

Who should apply to speak at TC16?

Tableau customers with a story to share! Each year, we accept a mix of speakers from companies who are household names as well as speakers from small and medium businesses, including non-profits, educational institutions, and healthcare.

We accept speakers whose companies have enormous Tableau Server deployments, and we accept speakers who are working with a single Tableau Desktop license. We accept speakers from all industries, departments, and use cases. We're looking for thought-leaders and trailblazers: people who are out on the front lines defining and redefining what's possible with analytics and data visualization.

For 2016, we're especially on the hunt for stories that speak to some of the most relevant data challenges and opportunities we face:

  • Agile BI
  • Big data
  • Cloud data
  • Data warehouses
  • Enterprise-wide adoption

What if I’m a consultant with a great Tableau story? Can I apply to speak?

Customer speaker applications must come from full-time employees at the organization listed in the application. We rarely accept applications from consultants or partners.

Edited to add: This year, for the first time, we will consider applications from consultants or partners. We will have a very limited number of slots available for these sessions. We expect to accept sessions from consultants and partners that focus on technical topics and topics like data visualization best practices and design. We do not expect to accept case studies from partners or consultants. Sessions from partners and consultants should not be about selling--at all.

Okay, but as a FTE at my company, I worked with a consultant/partner. Can s/he speak with me?

Generally, all speaker applicants must be full-time employees of the company they're representing. Your partner/consultant may be present to help with the 15 minutes of Q&A at the end of a session.

If you are a partner and would like more information on partnership opportunities, including sponsored speaking sessions, email

Consultants and partners: We do not recommend you submit customer case studies as session proposals for the customer track. Instead, encourage your customer to submit an application to speak about the joint solution.

I spoke at TC15. Can I apply to speak at TC16?

It’s very rare that we accept back-to-back customer speakers at Tableau Conference. Part of what makes TC such a special event is the brand new content attendees have not seen anywhere else. Unless your proposed session content is significantly different than last year’s, we encourage you to hold your application until next year—in which case, we look forward to seeing your application in 2017.

What should I speak about?

There's no "right" answer here, but some topics that we're always looking for include:

  • Growing Tableau inside your company
  • Big data stories
  • Industry or departmental use cases
  • Innovative use cases
  • How to communicate insights through great dashboard design
  • How to tell compelling stories with data
  • Technical talks
  • Integrating Tableau with specific data sources
  • IT use cases: data governance, metadata management, capacity planning, agile BI, Tableau as a shared service, cloud analytics
  • All the other cool stuff you're building!

Can I see some examples?

You sure can! You can find hundreds more examples from Tableau Conference and our global On Tour conferences on our YouTube playlist.

And here are some examples of different types of customer sessions from TC14 and TC15:

What do you look for in successful applications?

Funny you should ask. We actually do have some suggestions:

  • Be specific in your abstract. Make it clear what you're planning to speak about, what attendees will learn, and why it will be valuable for them. A one-sentence abstract is not what success looks like here. (Neither is a 50-sentence abstract.)
  • Include dashboards! The session submission form has space to upload dashboards or images of dashboards. We will NOT share these dashboards externally, ever. But we will say that showing us you're building great dashboards as a part of your application increases the likelihood we'll accept your session. (We understand that for some stories and companies this is not possible or doesn't make sense in the context of the session topic.)
  • Show us you know your stuff! There are fields in the application that request background on you and your use case. Don't rush through or ignore these fields. Use them to show us that you're the real deal—someone the TC audience can learn from.

Do I get a free pass?

Yes! (Maybe!) Tableau offers one full TC16 registration per accepted session. This means if you submit an accepted session with more than one speaker, only one speaker can use the complimentary registration. The other speakers will need to buy tickets.

But it's not just about the free ticket! All customer speakers are conference VIPs, which means VIP access to events throughout the week and a special speaker party just for you!

Tableau does not cover the cost of airfare or hotel for customer speakers.

When do I find out if I got accepted?

We'll notify accepted speakers in early July.

If I get accepted, will I be refunded the cost of my ticket if I've already purchased it?

Yes! If you’re one of our accepted speakers and you’ve purchased a ticket, we will process a full refund for you after you’ve confirmed your session.

If I get accepted, can someone else from my company do the presentation?

No. We accept people, not companies, as customer speakers. Please do not expect that someone else from your company can present on your behalf if you're accepted. Tableau reserves the right to rescind a speaking slot if the original applicants are no longer available to speak.

I have more questions and I'd like to talk to a real human about them.

We totally get it. Feel free to reach out to Kathryn Holtz, our fearless customer marketing assistant and bona-fide actual human, with any burning questions that aren't addressed either in this FAQ or in the application.