SXSW PanelPicker Success: Proofread!

The Forrest Four-Cast: July 5, 2017

Only about two more weeks until the PanelPicker entry portal closes at the end of the day on July 21. If you want to have a chance to speak next March in Austin, then get your idea into the system before this deadline passes.

In a previous column, we mentioned the importance of waiting until July 21 to enter your proposal (because you don’t gain any advantage by entering before this deadline). One of the main reasons to slow down is so that you can fully proofread your idea before you hit the “ENTER” button. You wouldn’t submit a resume that hasn’t been fully proofed — and you shouldn’t do it with your PanelPicker proposal either.

Typos, mis-spellings and incomplete sentences can ruin the credibility of your otherwise good proposal. If you aren’t detail-focused enough to eliminate these errors in the application process, then it is an indication that you probably aren’t detail-focused enough to deliver a great session at SXSW. Also, please please please don’t write your title (or other portions of your speaking application) in ALL CAPS; composing your title and description in all lower case characters isn’t good either.

Other important tips to remember for PanelPicker success are to focus on the future, to go into as much depth as possible on your topic and to consider entering a solo presentation (as opposed to a panel).

For more context on PanelPicker success, watch this short video.

In addition to speaking ideas, we are now accepting entries for numerous other SXSW 2018 activities including the SXSW Film Festival and the SXSW Music Festival. If you are part of a non-profit, then be sure to enter the SXSW Community Awards before the Friday, July 28 deadline.

Finally, know that badge sales begin on Tuesday, August 1. Register early for to have the most options on downtown hotel rooms, including the brand new Fairmont Austin (which joins the SXSW lineup for the 2018 event).

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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