Tips for SXSW PanelPicker Success: Depth Not Width

Written by Hugh Forrest | Wednesday, Jun 5, 2013

SXSW PanelPicker 2014The 2014 SXSW PanelPicker entry process begins in just over three weeks on Monday, July 1. Given our numbers from 2013, we anticipate receiving more than 3000 speaking proposals via this interface by the time it closes at end of day on Friday, July 26. So what is the best way to make your incredible idea stand out from the crowd? In terms of scope of coverage, focusing on depth over width is one of the best ways to make your proposal stand out.

When we emphasize the importance of depth over width regarding your PanelPicker proposal, we mean that the most successful SXSW sessions are ones that are strategically targeted to one small aspect of the given topic. Use these three questions as a rule of thumb:

1) Does your proposal allow for in-depth investigation of the topic at hand as opposed to surface-level generalities and oversimplifications?
2) Does your proposal offer detailed knowledge based on information not available to most users?
3) Is your proposal succinct enough such that it can be full covered / explored in 45 minutes?

If you answered "no" to any of these questions, then we strongly recommend that you rework your proposal to have a more narrow scope. For more info on the upcoming 2014 SXSW PanelPicker process, please refer to the PanelPicker FAQ.