SXSW PanelPicker Success: Future Focus

The Forrest Four-Cast: June 20, 2017

UPDATE: Learn more on the 2018 PanelPicker process via this short video.

Forward-thinking innovators come to SXSW to discover new talent, new startups and new ideas. Whether it is an incredible young band beginning their first US tour, a brilliant twenty-something filmmaker showcasing her first commercial release, or a founder who brings out-of-the-box solutions to traditional markets and systems, March in Austin is the perfect platform to preview what will be hot in the next few years.

Successful SXSW PanelPicker proposals likewise focus on the future. While its good if your speaking idea covers the most current developments in your industry, its a lot better if you put together something that aims to predict what the given landscape will look like in the next 36 to 60 months. Such wisdom holds true for proposals that address technology — but it also holds true for sessions ideas related to the worlds of Music and Film.

The 2018 PanelPicker process opens on Monday, June 26 and closes on Friday, July 21. About 75% of the session content for SXSW comes via this interface. In addition to a focus on the future, we recommend that your PanelPicker proposal showcase the talents of one speaker (as opposed to many) and that you dive very deep on your topic. Get more information about this process (and meet key SXSW staffers) at one of our upcoming Community Meet Ups.

Also opening on Monday, June 26 is the 2018 SXSW Film Festival Submissions, SXSW Music Festival Showcase Applications, and several other awards including the SXSW Community Service Awards, Interactive Innovation Awards, Accelerator Pitch Event, and the David Carr Prize. Find the most current information on all these exciting 2018 activities via the SXSW website on the various SXSW social media channels.

Hugh Forrest tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often (but not always) cover technology-related trends. When not attempting to wordsmith or meditating, he serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW in Austin.

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