About SXSW Interactive Sessions

Session Audience. Photo by Mars Varela

Like the SXSW Community, SXSW Programming Is Very Diverse

SXSW Interactive Festival programming covers a wide span of topics and ideas. Our daytime programming varies not only by theme, but by format as well. To help you find what most interests you within our festival, we’ve created this nifty breakdown.

While these sessions represent the bulk of content at the event, be sure to check the Speciality Tracks page for in-depth info on SXsports, SouthBites, SXstyle and other focused programming.

SXSW Interactive Festival Session Formats


These hour-long, internally curated Keynote presentations showcase the trends and ideas that we believe to be the most important or significant within the new media industries. The Interactive Festival hosts one Keynote per day of programming.

Featured Sessions

Featured Sessions are a series of hour-long presentations that see some of the most recognizable and well respected thought leaders take the stage. These sessions are held in our largest programming rooms and span across all of our themes.

Solo, Dual and Panel Presentations

The vast majority of our Solo, Dual and Panel programming is sourced through the PanelPicker. 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.


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, four or eight hours total time, dependent on the topic at hand. Advance sign up is required.

Meet Ups

Meet Ups provide an environment for SXSW registrants to meet and network with other creative industry professionals who share similar career paths, passions and social interests. Meet Ups are curated around a wide variety of topics, and all are 60 minutes in duration.

Mentor Sessions

Mentor Sessions aim to pair relatively newcomers in the field of technology with an 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 Tracks

Art, Science and Inspiration

  • Art and Inspiration - Design, Drawing, Ideas, Out-of-Box Thinking, Photography, Pure Art, Writing, Sculpture, Painting
  • DIY, Hacker and Maker - 21st Century Erector Sets, Re-Building, Re-Creating, Re-Mixing
  • WTF and Beyond - What The Future… Everything Else, Nanotechnology, Paranormal, Pervasive Computing, Quantum Computer, Spirituality, Time Travel, Zero Point Theory, Aliens, Multiple Dimensions .. The Next Big Thing
  • Science and Space Exploration - Biomechanics, Future of Aging, Neurology, Next Generation Space Discovery, Physics, Pure Science

Branding and Marketing

  • Online & Mobile Marketing, A/B Testing, ROI, Ideation, Brand Building, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Social Marketing, Brand Storytelling, Content Marketing, SEO/SEM, Transmedia, Analytics, Brick and Mortar

Content and Distribution

  • Content Strategy, eBooks, Journalism, Monetization, Streaming and Online Content, Storytelling, Fan Fiction, Attribution, The Future of Content

Design and Development

  • Interaction Design, Open Source, Front and Backend Development, User Experience, Web and Mobile Design, Hardware and Software

Entertainment and Immersion

  • Television, Movies, Podcasts, Augmented & Virtual Reality, Immersive Experiences, Transmedia Storytelling

Entrepreneurialism and Business

  • B2B, B2C, Bootstrapping, Business Strategy, Future of Money, Startups, VC Funding, Social Good Business, Management, Enterprise, Small Business

Food and Experiential Dining

  • Experiential Dining, Agricultural Advancements, Food Communities, Food Photography, Urban Farming, Food Data, Future of the Grocery Store, Nutrition, Food Apps

Gaming and Geek Culture

  • Casual Gaming, Console Gaming, Educational Gaming, Gaming Culture, Gamification, Hard-core Gaming, Comics, eSports and Tabletop Gaming

Global Good

  • Non-profit and Activism - Activism, Charity, Education Tech, Global Good, Green Tech, Non-Profit, Sustainability
  • Diversity and Emerging Markets - Asians in Tech, Blacks in Tech, Latinos in Tech, LGBT in Tech, Non-Traditional Tech Hubs, Other EU

Government and Policy

  • Policy and Civic Engagement - Elections, Government and Technology, International Issues, Local, City and National Government, Policy
  • Privacy and Security - Surveillance, Encryption Tools, Tracking, Big Data, Monitoring, Cookies, TOR, Dark Web

Health and Medtech

  • Medical Systems and Technology Development, Online Health Services, Self-Hacking, Self-Monitoring, Personal Health Monitoring

Intelligent Future

  • Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Responsive Computing
  • AI and Intelligent Devices - Robotics, Intelligent Sensors, Internet of Everything, Ambient Intelligence
  • Smart Transportation and Cities - Connected Cars, Urban Planning, Autonomous Vehicles, Intelligent Infrastructure


  • Arena/Venue Experience & Ticketing, Athletic Performance & Psychology, Fan Engagement, Global Sports & eSports, Live Events, Sports Content & Storytelling, Sports Data & Analytics, Sports Media & Broadcasting, Societal & Cultural Impact of Sports, Youth Sports

Style and FashionTech

  • Innovative Design, Sustainable Practices, Rapid Prototyping, Integrated Systems, Creating New Innovative Retail Experiences

Work and Career

  • Career Development, Co-Working & Alternative Workspaces, Freelance & Contract Work, Team Building, Work/Life Balance, The Future of Work

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

Photo by Mars Varela