SxSW 2012 Preview

Image credit: Jay Cuthrell

SxSW 2012 Preview ( 2012 )

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It’s that time again. SxSW is my annual pilgrimage or it has been since 2008. This year will be the first one where I’m not ‘working’ it because this time I am taking – yes – a vacation. While the notion of a massive tech convention might not seem like a vacation, this is me we are talking about, right?

If you are attending SxSW and use the SxSocial service my profile is at this lovely URL:

@Percival #prediction a changing of the guards for SxSW, new folks outweigh regulars, 50% less binge drinking, 50% more badgeless options

– Jay Cuthrell (@qthrul) February 25, 2012

For those of you doing math at home, SxSW 2012 is my fifth SxSW. It all started with tacos.

For those of you following me, my tweets from March 8-14 will 100% SxSW vacation powered. You. Have. Been. Warned.

— Jay Cuthrell (@qthrul) March 5, 2012

I’ll be adding notes here or in another post as they come to me. I’m really excited to see folks speaking from Cisco, EMC, and VMware this year at SxSW.

In addition, there are some selections I’ve already made just based on the buzz and synopsis portions of the fancy new SxSW schedule builder. For an idea of what I’m going to attempt to attend here’s a small preview from my personal SxSW schedule builder:

My SXSW schedule so far…… What is yours?

– Jay Cuthrell (@qthrul) March 3, 2012

[This year I’m only going to be attending SxSW Interactive from March 8-14. Again, I will be out of office and soaking up the knowledge and connections that only SxSW can provide. So, wait… why do I do this each year?

First, I try to make myself scarce and truly disconnect from work during this pilgrimage – and this is a relative function of business of course. When I was a consultant prior to joining VCE, SxSW was where I closed deals. I expect this trend can continue as VCE focuses on PaaS and SaaS markets. SPs today are already dipping their toes into innovation centers and SxSW is where a lot of those ideas are spawned. You get to talk with these folks at SxSW – often over beers, tacos, or people that have fallen over from too many beers and tacos.

Second, I hope to visit the SP and SaaS companies as I did in 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008. Many of these companies invited me to their panels at various trade events (great times for an all things Vblock chat eh?). In a nutshell, you’ll see various SP’s attending and an update on the latest SaaS and technology envelope plays. SxSW is about the absolute edge of the envelope for cloudy type stuff. Getting to hang out with folks that are the applications leadership/development teams and letting solid connections form is rewarding, fun, and why I’m here.

Third, this is about visibility. This year there are SxSW speakers from EMC, VMware and Cisco. While I won’t be speaking, I’ll be attending interactive panels, discussions, and be skating along with others where the puck will be. That’s my plan. I’m sticking to it. At least until I get a DM about breakfast tacos.

UPDATE March 12, 2012: