I can see a little improvement over the years coming back to Amsterdam, after almost 8 times I get less lost which is always nice. But to look like a local demands some practical organization, you don't want to not give the impression you are a tourist (by staying in front of the Van Gog museum or asking where is the red light district or example) or one the numerous IBC visitors (they are easy to spot because they often keep their badge around the neck, or they are packed in the tram line 4 and 11, men dressed in suits, some are struggling to check in and out in the public transport...) they are simple rules to follow: avoid tram line 4 and 11 during the dates of the IBC event, visit other museums than the one mentioned above or simply walk from place to place and try to get lost.
Going to IBC give you only a few hours (or to any fairs or conferences) to explore the city where the event is hosted. And after the whole day standing up, running to this or this session or talking in front of the audience of the "Cutting Edge Session 2" about your work on 3D stereoscopy camera for digital dome you want to find a place who will treat you well (I'm not talking about massage with good ending), a place with a decent coffee or a good beer who tastes different than Heineken are welcomed.
Being a spotter since this summer for Berlin, I use the spottedbylocals city guide for Amsterdam which have the great feature to be usable off-line on your smart electronic device (the other features being a list of regularly updated spots in the city you are visiting or just living). So, you are lost, turn the app on, check on the map the closest spots depending what you are looking for "et voilà".
And for my second evening in town I had the pleasure to meet the people behind the spottedbylocals city guide. Of course we met in one of the local Amsterdam spots, the stadscafe Van Mechelen which offer a large choice of beer and a delicious burger. Nice evening it was.