Tips for SXSW PanelPicker Success: Go Han Solo!

Written by Hugh Forrest | June 13, 2013

SXSW Panel Picker

The entry process for the 2014 SXSW PanelPicker begins soon: Monday, July 1. A year ago, this interface generated more than 3000 speaking proposals from digital creatives from across the United States and around the world. We expect that total to be even higher for the 2014 PanelPicker season. With so many entries from so many smart people, how can you make sure that your proposal has the best chance for success? Submitting your idea as a solo presentation (as opposed to a panel) is one key strategy to get an edge on your competition.

Why do we like solo presentations more than panels? Over the years at SXSW, our experience is that solo presentations tend to offer far more focus and more depth -- two elements that SXSW registrants crave when they attend the event. More specifically, if a speaker is doing a solo presentation, then he or she will almost certainly put in significant preparation work for their session. By contrast, too often we find that one or two of the speakers on a panel don't sufficiently prepare for their speaking engagement (and this lack of preparation drags down an otherwise intriguing discussion). So, eliminate the possible lack of preparation that will sink your session by simply submitting your PanelPicker proposal as a solo endeavor.

For more info on the upcoming 2014 SXSW PanelPicker process, please refer to the PanelPicker FAQ.