PanelPicker: Tapping into the Wisdom of the SXSW Community

PanelPicker Voting is Now Closed

Thank you for voting in this year's PanelPicker. Stay tuned this spring for 2015 programming announcements!

Click here for the SXSW PanelPicker FAQ.

The History – First Launched in 2007

Over the years, many of the most compelling panels and presentations for the SXSW Interactive Festival have come directly from our community. This process was formalized in 2007 with the PanelPicker, an innovative online tool developed to offer the community the chance to become a greater part of SXSW, not only by submitting programming ideas, but also by reviewing, commenting and voting for those ideas they most want to see become a part of the event. In 2010, SXSW extended PanelPicker to include panel submission ideas for all three annual industry events (Music, Film, and Interactive), further enhancing the opportunity for the intersection of creative and professional minds at SXSW.

"The PanelPicker interface is a natural extension of the creative intermingling that takes place during the festival itself. We are excited that we can provide a forum for new ideas to debut and flourish year-round."
– Roland Swenson, SXSW Managing Director


The Application Process

During the open application process, we encourage the community to upload proposals for panels, solo presentations, Book Readings, core conversations, etc. This application process is simple. Go to, select the correct conference for your presentation idea (Music, Film or Interactive), read the PanelPicker FAQ and fill out the form. About a month after the application deadline, all ideas received will be posted such that the online community can vote on which proposals they think are the best fit for the March event.


The Decision - Voting + Staff + Advisory Board

While voting from the community is important, these totals are not the only factor in deciding SXSW programming. Also playing a large role in the decision-making process is the SXSW Advisory Boards and the SXSW staff. As illustrated by the graph at right, each of these three channels informs a percentage in determining the content lineup.

You – 30%

Who knows what you want to see at SXSW better than you? Your input matters.

SXSW Advisory Board – 40 %

A group of more than 50 new media professionals at the forefront of the tech industry from the U.S. and around the world, the SXSW Advisory board provides significant feedback on all submissions.

SXSW Staff – 30 %

With years of experience programming this event, SXSW staff weighs in with feedback and work to fill in any gaps in subject matter, strike a balance between new and veteran speakers, and research each presenter’s history and online presence.


"Our experience has proved that the PanelPicker interface is an invaluable way to connect with the thousands of professionals and informed consumers that make up the worldwide SXSW community. Not only does it help generate fresh ideas, it gives our participants an outlet to share with us what is most exciting, timely and relevant to them."
– SXSW Interactive Festival director, Hugh Forrest


The Competition

As the community continues to grow, in both size and significance, competition for panel slots in the 2015 SXSW Film Festival lineup is going to be tough. However, whatever the outcome, SXSW will be the place to be in March, providing unparallelled access to the expertise of the innovators, creatives and forward-thinkers that make the SXSW Film Conference and Festival such a powerful, influential event. Additional information about the PanelPicker can be found PanelPicker FAQ.