London Partner Summit

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This past week I spent in London for work. Besides client and partner meetings I was there with my colleague, Carsten, to attend the Tableau Partner Leadership Summit for Tableau partners in EMEA.

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The summit is for Tableau’s partners which includes Resellers, Consulting and Technology partners across the many countries of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It’s an opportunity for partners to learn, hear about updates, discuss strategy, sales, etc. and meet other partners.

My first Partner Summit

I hadn’t been to a partner summit before, but a couple of Tableau Conferences (data15 and data16) as well as two Tableau Conferences on Tour (Melbourne 2015 and Sydney 2016). While I didn’t know what to expect, I know ‘my Tableau people’ and figured it would be pretty fun, especially because I deal with many Tableau partners on a regular basis as part of my job. A lot of them happen to be my friends too.

It was really good to spend time with the great bunch of people working with and for Tableau here in Europe. A bit like a family reunion, but in suits instead of geeky t-shirts.

Presenting on the EXASOL & Tableau story

As EXASOL, the awesome company I work for, was one of the sponsors this year, we had a speaker slot for the breakout sessions. That meant Carsten and I had to prepare a presentation for Thursday morning, which wasn’t without its challenges in the past couple of weeks as I struggled to find time. But it was all finished and submitted with a few hours to spare and we spoke to an interested audience on Thursday morning about the EXASOL story and how we became a Technology Partner for Tableau.

While it’s always daunting to present, especially when speaking on behalf of your company, I really enjoyed it. I love talking about Tableau and the projects we have planned for 2017 (as far as I can talk about them at this point, need to keep a few surprises, right?), so that makes presenting fun. And of course, it’s good to practice public speaking as much as possible, because I find that as I progress in my career those speaking gigs feature more and more in my diary.

Networking marathon

Aside from our own presentation I didn’t actually get a chance to attend any sessions because I was literally talking to people non-stop from Wednesday evening until Friday afternoon.

I usually bumped into a few familiar faces during break times between sessions and we had a number of scheduled and ad hoc meetings with people interested in our software.

The discussions were engaging and really valuable, plus I learned a whole lot about various partners around the region and how they help their customers and clients with their data analytics and reporting challenges by introducing Tableau to the BI landscape.

The European buzz at PLS2017

Wednesday evening was the start of the summit with a welcome reception which meant a lot of ‘Hellos’ and hugs and sharing stories about what happened between data16 and now.

I enjoyed the mix of languages all around me, including a lot of German being spoken. That was super cool, because at the global conference English is pretty much the exclusive language you hear. Over the past few days in London there were French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Arabic, Swedish, Finnish, Dutch and many other languages and it made my heart sing. Europe is my happy place and I just love having people from so many different cultures in one place. It’s a little bit like looking through your holiday photo album while listening to your favourite playlist.

Thursday started with an inspiring keynote by James Eiloart, VP, EMEA Sales, Tableau

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while Andy Cotgreave, Technical Evangelist at Tableau, was the MC for the event and brought plenty of enthusiasm and laughs to the stage.

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On Thursday evening the Partner Awards Dinner was held. I’ll never pass on an opportunity to get dressed up and to use multiple sets of knives and forks over the course of the evening. I might be a low-maintenance, practical person in daily life, but special occasions are fun!

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The after-party in the sky bar of the hotel was a nice way to finish the evening and a chance to chat with everyone in a more relaxed atmosphere. And the view from above was pretty cool, too!

The summit finished on Friday after a few more sessions, meetings and another great keynote, this time by Dave Story, VP, Product Development, Tableau.

Cool down

Following the summit Carsten and I didn’t have much time to relax as the next appointments on Friday afternoon were already in the diary, but thankfully we had Saturday to unwind from a pretty exhausting week.

After a delicious and indulgent breakfast at Borough Markets we split up to play tourists and pick up some presents for our families.

I spent a few hours wandering the streets of Southwark, Waterloo and the City of London districts, looking at shops, eating more food and visiting churches, taking photos and crossing bridges.

With every visit I fall in love with London a little bit more. Even the rain can’t put me off. It’s a fun and energetic city with so many sights, monuments, churches and historical buildings on every corner. You can hardly catch your breath and I often find myself standing in amazement, staring up at some ancient church or a plaque indicating a significant place.

There are so many alley-ways, traditional pubs, glitzy stores, posh restaurants and quirky shops, you simply can’t get bored…

I soaked it all up for a few hours before heading to the airport for the journey home. On the train I started getting ready for the next Makeover Monday challenge with a few conversations on Twitter that have me super excited about the data for week 6. I cannot wait to see what people will create!

And that brings me to the end of this week. With the Partner Summit over I hope to have a bit more breathing space  to return to regular blogging and work on my Alteryx workflow projects, so you should find more frequent posts on this page in the weeks to come.

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