SXSW Interactive Comes in Many Different Shapes and Sizes

Sessions Showcase Innovation, Inspiration and Creativity

SXSW Interactive Festival daytime programming is very diverse, and varies by not only by theme, but by format as well. Read below for a breakdown of the programming varieties we offer at SXSW Interactive to determine what most interests you.

SXSW Interactive Festival Session Formats

The crux of each day's programming, Keynote Presentations are internally-curated, hour-long talks that take the form of either a solo talk, interview, or a conversation between two individuals. These presentations bring to the stage some of the industry's most inspired thinkers.

Featured Sessions
SXSW Featured Sessions are a series of noteworthy presentations designed to inspire, enlighten and inform. These hour-long talks feature some of the most well respected and accomplished thought leaders in their industries.

Solo, Dual and Panel Presentations

Much of programming at SXSW Interactive consists of panel, dual or solo presentations. Panels typically feature one moderator and up to three additional industry experts who represent different perspectives and opinions. Solo and dual presentations offer less diversity of opinion but more in-depth analysis. Each of these formats are one hour in length.

Core Conversations
The informal discussions that take place between sessions have traditionally been one of the most productive parts of the SXSW Interactive Festival. Started in 2008, Core Conversations have become very popular with SXSW attendees. These sessions are a lot more interactive than the traditional format of presenting an expert's information to an audience. Core Conversation leaders engage and guide their audience in a lively discussion on the topic at hand.

Book Readings
The Book Reading program showcases some of the most interesting new titles related to creativity and innovation in media. Authors are given 20 minutes to talk about their new work, after which they are available to sign copies of their work at the nearby SXBookstore.

Our in-depth, instructional workshop program offers advanced level technical information that revolves around a particular topic or skill. Workshops enable SXSW registrants to gain more expertise in their particular area of interest, and vary from two-and-a-half, four, or eight hours total time, dependent on the topic at hand. Advance sign-up is required.

Future15s are a series of 12-minute presentations that are curated from proposals submitted to the PanelPicker. These short-form presentations allow attendees to digest as much information as quickly as possible. Future15 presentations are grouped into two-hour blocks of programming related to a single theme.

Meet Ups
Meet Ups provide a set time and place for SXSW registrants to network with other creative industry professionals who share similar career paths, passions, and social interests. Meet Ups offer a wide variety of topics and are 60 minutes in duration.

Mentor Sessions
Mentor Sessions aim to pair relative newcomers in the field of technology with experienced new media professional for seven minutes of intense, one-on-one career coaching. Our mentors range in areas of expertise and make themselves available for an hour's time. Advance sign-up required.

SXSW Interactive Festival Session Themes

SXSW Interactive Festival Session Themes represent the various topics of interest that you, the community, have expressed a desire to see represented at the 2015 event. With our vast and diverse session offerings, Themes allow SXSW Interactive registrants to identify programming with a unifying idea and underlying common thread. These programming Themes act as topics of discourse, discussion and collaboration and are revisited every year to encompass new trends and industry innovations. The Themes listed below are listed in PanelPicker as submission options, and these will very closely mirror the programming Themes offered at SXSW Interactive 2015.

AI and Intelligent Devices

Art and Inspiration

Branding and Marketing

Content and Distribution

Design and Development

Diversity and Emerging Markets

DIY, Hacker and Maker

Convergent and Immersive Entertainment

Entrepreneurialism and Business

Fashion, Style and Wearable Technology


Gaming and Game Development

Health and Medtech

Non-profit and Activism

Policy and Civic Engagement

Privacy and Security

Science and Space Exploration

Smart Transportation and Cities

Social and Relationships


Work and Career

If you have ideas, suggestions or questions about SXSW daytime programming, then please feel free to email us.