There are only a matter of days until SxSW 2012, and as a first timer, I’m waning between incredibly excited and beyond terrified. So I thought I would share a few points on why I’m both excited and terrified, and then hopefully get some feedback from the SxSW veterans out there.
Reason’s I’m incredibly excited for SxSW (from a rookie perspective):

1.  It’s in Austin, TX.

Most mega conferences are in LA, San Diego, Vegas, New York. Big mega cities with big mega attitude. It seems that Austin has all of the great city atmosphere…none of the attitude. I can’t wait wonder the city and find great places and meet great people.

2.  Three birds, one stone.

Ok, that’s vague. But, SxSW is unique in that in the span of 10 days you get the best in Interactive, Film and Music. Three great artistic platforms overlapping to give you a group of very different but similar creative minded people. It’s like a giant party where only people like myself are invited. Win.

3.  Smart talented people everywhere!

This may be the reason I’m most excited. There is a good chance throughout the conference that I’ll be standing next to the future Mark Zuckerberg. Not to mention the best and brightest in advertising. Be a sponge. Be a sponge. Be a sponge.

Now, reason’s why I’m beyond terrified (from a rookie perspective):

1.  Over 5,000+ events to choose from.

When making my schedule for Day 1, I realized I had marked four events/panels that all started at 2pm. I then looked at my 3pm schedule and noticed I had marked three events/panels. There isn’t an hour on any day where there isn’t multiple great panels starting at the same time. Unless I manage to clone my self in the next few days I’m going to have to miss some great talks and stellar parties, because there just is too many great topics to choose from. From a SxSW conference standpoint this is not a bad problem to have. From a personal decision making standpoint… I’m overwhelmed.

2.  Not on the list.

I’m fairly positive that I signed up for just about every panel/screening/party that I potentially want to attend at SxSW. I seriously doubt I’ll make half of them as most tend to overlap. But I’m worried that the one invite only panel/party I do try to attend…I’m some how not on the list. Not only will it be embarrassing but a buzz kill to beat. So if you are reading this and throwing an special event, double check that Drew Lewis is on the VIP list. K thanks!

3.  Smart talented people everywhere!

Yes this is the same point as above for reasons why I’m excited to go to SxSW. But you have to understand that as an Advertising creative you are expected to have a somewhat inflated ego, as we’re challenged to come up with amazing ideas everyday. Sometimes every hour. So my ego is scared that everywhere I turn, I’m going to see another talented marketer with an idea that reaches rockstar status. And all I’ll be able to think about is why didn’t I come up with that idea?! This is when I proceed to drown my ego in beer. I hear they have some of that in Austin. Beer that is.

I’m sure both my fears and my excitement will come to fruition in a matter of days. Feel free to comment and add any advice that could help. Or if your a SxSW rookie like me, feel free to add to my list.