It was great to experience my first virtual Tableau conference in JLL last November and see the buzz that is created to encourage staff to engage; promoting the opportunity to learn, network and share experiences. The fabulous Fi Gordon and Paul Chapman always encourage the JLL Work Dynamics Performance and BI staff to maximise their conference experience. I was proud to help with this engagement last November and was equally excited for this year’s conference. Like most people, budget constraints and family commitments prevented me from attending this year’s Tableau conference in person so with the prospect of another virtual conference ahead of us myself and Laura Sandford (fellow JLLer) decided we should throw a watch party! We felt it would be a great excuse to get some of our UK based #JLLDataFam together and see if we could make the virtual conference more ‘real’.
So last week 12 of us from 7 different BI teams in Work Dynamics JLL came together in London to experience the two day virtual conference together. This was the first time some of us had met in person or at all, so it was a great opportunity to get to know each other as well as enjoy the conference.
We booked a meeting room in our new JLL swanky offices in Canary Wharf in London. The two days were structured around the virtual conference sessions with our own added extras so that it wasn’t all ‘watching’.
Virtual conference content:
- Keynotes were streamed in the room – it was great doing this as it created a real buzz around some of things that were discussed, and there was lots ooos and awws like we were at the real conference.
- Breakout sessions – streamed 1 channel based on popular demand, whilst the attendees could choose to watch other channels by simply using their headphones so we could ensure people got to see what they wanted rather than what we wanted.
- Iron Viz – we watched this live which was probably one of my highlights of the 2 days. Cheering and screaming at the screen on your own isn’t quite the same as with others. What made this year extra special was being able to cheer on our fellow JLLer CJ Mayes. You could have cut the tension in the room, we were all excited and nervous for him. We were all super proud of CJ despite the outcome, all the 3 finalist were phenomenal. I wonder whether there will be a JLLer in next years final? We do a good job at Iron Viz finalists in JLL!
- Photobooths – whilst we were in person in London we were keen to ensure that we were all active on our Conference MS Teams channel to help make sure that the rest of our JLLDataFam who were mainly on their own enjoying the conference were engaged as much as we were. We all made an effort to create a buzz online and share our thoughts on the conference and of course take a snap in the famous photobooths.
WorkOutWednesday (WOW) Live – we decided it would be fab to run one of the great community initiatives during the two days so we opted for an old workoutwednesday. The group got to vote on 1 of 3 suggested WOWs, they agreed on 1 inspired by one of our fellow JLLers Zac Bowders – week 5 2020 about ranking. It was brilliant to see everyone dive in and see everyone sharing ideas and helping each other out when they got stuck. We threw in some encouragement with a quick video message from one of the WorkOutWednesday organisers and data legend Lorna Brown (thanks Lorna!)
Watch Party Quiz – Laura ran a Tableau themed Kahoot quiz, which tested how competitive everyone is and our Tableau knowledge. I accidently won…oops who knew I knew so much about Tableau stuff (lol)!?!
Data Night Out – we didn’t want to be out done by those partying hard in Vegas so we organised our own watch party data night out. We headed to the Boom Bar in the O2 for Shuffleboard and ‘Crazier Golf’, plus food and couple of shandys. It was so good to get to know everyone in a less formal setting and have a laugh about how rubbish we generally were at crazier golf.
It was brilliant to get the chance to lead the watch party with Laura and give people opportunity to connect. The feedback from those who attended has been very positive. Everyone has come back with a wider support network and some have even come back with learning buddies for our gamification programmes.
I couldn’t recommend this approach enough if you have the opportunity in future. It helped me to stay engaged in the conference, get to know people from other BI teams and ensured I kept work distractions to a minimum. It also helped to reduce my Las Vegas FOMO (fear of missing out).
Hope you enjoyed my blog, and hope you had a great conference wherever you were!