Getting ready for SXSW 2012 – A Newbie’s Guide

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As a SXSW first-timer, I’m looking forward to experiencing all of the great things Austin has to offer – friendly people, cowboy boots, delicious BBQ and warmer weather (I am from Rochester, after all!). But besides hoping to get a feel for the local flavor, I want to make sure I’m getting the most out of my first trip to SX – and that means lots of planning! As one of the biggest and busiest industry conferences, it’s all too easy for an over-eager newbie to bite off more than she can chew, so it’s important to get the lay of the land ahead of time to make sure I’m able to maximize my time there, without overdoing it. Here are a couple of resources I’m using to learn about what to expect at SXSW 2012:

First-Timer’s Guide to SXSW – The classic first-timer guide, straight from the folks at SXSW itself. Points of note: wear comfortable shoes, find a buddy, study the maps.

SXSW Baby! – An unofficial blog dedicated to all-things SXSW. Check out the weekly checklist to help you plan each week before SX, or visit the 101 tips section for an insider scoop on what to expect and how to plan.

SXSW on Quora – I’ve found lots of great tips on parties, panels, meetups, apps and more just by browsing some of the latest questions posted to Quora.

SXSW events on Lanyrd – Robert Scoble recently said this service is “taking over for the geeks’ event planning” now that Plancast isn’t being worked on. A great place to survey different panels, events, meetups and networking parties.

#SXSWchat tweetchat – Set to launch today, the #SXSWchat each week will cover topics including how to make the most of the festival, finding experiences “beyond the badge,” and last minute preparations.

Austin360′s Digital Savant – A great local blog penned by tech reporter Omar Gallaga, where he shares a number of tips and links to SXSW-related content in most posts.

Download the app - Before you head to Austin, make sure to download the mobile app which allows you to view/build your schedule, see a map of what’s happening and how to get there, navigate the show and stay connected to fellow attendees.

SXSurvival – A handy guide (featuring Pinterest boards) for everything you need to survive SXSW, courtesy of Austin-based advertising firm, GSD&M.