2020 SXSW PanelPickerEntry Process Opens: Jul 1 - Jul 21
Community Voting: Aug 5 - Aug 23
"PanelPicker connects us with the thousands of creative professionals, experienced experts and informed consumers that make up the global SXSW community. This interface helps us identify the most compelling new ideas within the many different industries we serve and, in so doing, keeps SXSW exciting, timely, and relevant."
– Hugh Forrest, SXSW Chief Programming Officer
The SXSW PanelPicker is a two-step online process that gives our attendees a significant voice in conference programming (presentations, panels, workshops, etc.) for SXSW and SXSW EDU.
Step 1: Entries (Jul 1 - Jul 21): SXSW calls on the community to enter proposals for conference sessions at all SXSW events.
Step 2: Voting (Aug 5 - Aug 23): The voting period allows the community to browse proposals, leave comments, and vote for sessions they think would be a good fit for the 2020 event.
Technical issues? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The SXSW PanelPicker launched in 2007 to formalize an input process that has always been a vital part of the event.
Over the years, many of the most compelling sessions at SXSW have come directly from this process.
In 2017, SXSW unified our three conferences (Music, Film, and Interactive) under one umbrella. For 2020, we will continue in this direction to help create a more cohesive conference experience for our attendees, with more programming choices throughout the event.
The Application Process
During the open application process, we encourage everyone in the SXSW community to upload proposals for solo presentations, panels, book readings, workshops, and more. This application involves an easy-to-follow form that will walk you step by step through the entry process.
How Ideas are Selected: Voting + Staff + Advisory Board
While voting from the community is important, these totals are not the only factor in deciding SXSW programing. As illustrated by the graph below, the SXSW staff and Advisory Boards also inform a significant percentage in determining the content lineup.
The input of the SXSW staff and Advisory Boards helps ensure that less well-known voices have as much of a chance as being selected to speak at SXSW as individuals with large online followings.
The Selection Process
Community Voting: 30%
Who knows what you want to see at SXSW better than you? Your input is very important in terms of shaping the look and feel of the 2020 event.
SXSW Advisory Board: 40%
A group of 200+ industry experts from around the world, the SXSW Advisory Board provides significant feedback on all proposals.
SXSW Staff: 30%
With years of experience programming this event, SXSW staffers work to fill any gaps in relevant subject matter, striking a balance between new and veteran speakers.
The Competition: Over 6,100 proposals received For 2018
With so many high-quality entries, proposals have need to stand out to make it through the selection process.
Fully-proofed, narrowly-focused, forward-thinking ideas that emphasize creativity and innovation will have the best chance of successfully navigating SXSW community voting, staff analysis and Advisory Board feedback. As above, we strongly strongly encourage you to read the FAQ for helpful tips on creating a winning proposal.