Welcome to my first blog around upcoming tips and helpful hints for first time attendees coming to Synergy 2012 in San Francisco, May 9 to 11. This is the first in a series of what I hope are helpful blogs around making the most out of your attendance at Synergy.

To give you a bit of history on who I am, I am the Events Lead for the Synergy Global programs, and have been happily working for Citrix for the past 10 years, first with Americas Field Marketing moving to Corporate Marketing in 2004. I took the events lead title in 2009 and since then I head up a small team of dynamic and motivated folks, who working in close partnership with other Citrix groups, help bring you the Synergy, as well as Summit—the channel partner event that precedes Synergy—global events.

In my upcoming blog series, I’ll be providing answers to questions of general interest, from logistics to recreation. I also welcome your questions at citrixsynergy@citrix.com and you can also follow me on Twitter @socialatsynergy and look out for key announcements at #citrixsynergy.

I look forward to sharing my insights and recommendations with Synergy attendees via blogs and web postings so you can get the most from your experience at the conference.

Helpful hints for first-time attendees

If this is your first Synergy event, prepare for an exciting and intensive experience: interacting with new people on site and online, absorbing new information and insights and investigating the newest technology innovations.

Synergy 2012 offers more activities than ever before, so it’s a good idea to have a plan for making the most of the conference. Following are some tips for optimizing the value of Synergy – even before you arrive in San Francisco.

Before Synergy

Get in the Synergy spirit by following the social networking activity leading up to the event, which can be accessed via the Latest News. You can also follow event discussions and news on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

For a taste of what’s ahead, check out last year’s events by watching Synergy TV going live in early March. Then in April, Synergy TV will provide short previews of selected breakouts given by the presenters, and other preview content like the onsite live stream program guide, which will help you decide which sessions you want to attend.

Testing and Training: Don’t forget to schedule your free Citrix certification exam now, pre-registration is required in order to secure a seat, and sign up for Instructor-led Learning Labs in March. Advance sign up for the Instructor-led Labs for previous attendees, Alumni, is now open, with Labs available to all regsitered attendees March 12.

Another important part of advance preparation is arranging on-site meetings. Launching March 19, the Event Connection tool located in your My Account Synergy Microsite enables you to contact other attendees and set up face-to-face meetings in the Event Connection Lounge located in Moscone West, a meeting space with tables and wireless connectivity.

Synergy Mobile, available for download mid-April, is a feature-rich mobile tool that works with leading tablets and smartphones including the Apple iPad and iPhone, BlackBerry and Android-based devices. It puts important Synergy resources right at your fingertips so you’re always in touch and informed.

Lots of opportunities to get the latest information on Synergy, take advantage of training on site, and connect with others before you hit the event in May.

Thanks for checking out my blog, and I am excited to offer more tips in the coming weeks!