This week I had the opportunity to attend the 2009 Tableau Customer Conference. Tableau is a business intelligence company which is my niche and they specialize in visual analysis and data visualization. I struck a deal with them to do some conference blogging in return for a press pass. Something you might want to think about for your own B2B niche.

Anyway, I must say I’m thoroughly impressed with this company. They are relatively small but you’d never know it. In this tight economy, with travel budgets clamped down, they still managed to get over 300 attendees, half again what they had the previous year. And, their customers are passionate about their software. The conference has been very successful at staying in touch with customers and keeping them engaged.

Tableau does a great job marketing without being over the top. They reach their customers and prospects at their level. Their website is fairly simple but has all the information the web visitor needs. They have a full-time web analytics/search marketing manager who provides input into the web design, helps with web testing, and works to rise Tableau to the top of search results.

They also continue to touch but not bombard their customers with their newsletter that comes out every other month. Another way they stay in touch is through Twitter. Their employees regularly use Twitter and their company Twitter handle is active as well.

In fact, what impressed me most was how passionate and happy their employees are. From the CEO, Christian Chabot, to the VP of Marketing, Elissa Fink, down to the sales staff and developers, they have fun. And what I know is that happy employees make happy teams that make great products.

Bottom line, you are always in the eyes of your customer so make sure they are seeing the best side. Find ways to show them your company’s true personality. Tableau has obviously done that.

If you’re curious about Tableau’s data visualization software, check out their beginner’s guide to data visualization.