PanelPicker® is the official SXSW user-generated session proposal platform. This easy, two-step online process allows the SXSW community to have a voice in what sessions are programmed at SXSW.

Community Voting: August 10-26, 2021

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"Alien Worlds: NASA’s Quest for Life" – SXSW 2018 – Photo by Michael Caufield

About PanelPicker


SXSW values community input and involvement. The two-step online process PanelPicker® was developed to encourage the SXSW community to enter proposals and have a significant voice in Conference programming.

During the open application period from June 29 – July 25, the SX community entered session ideas for the 2022 Conference. The SXSW community will be able to browse proposals, leave comments, and vote to help shape the event during Community Voting from August 10-26, 2021.


Stay tuned to SXSW News and subscribe to our event newsletters for the latest updates.

Hugh Forrest PanelPicker Quote

Community is such a big part of SXSW, which is why PanelPicker powers so much of the Conference programming each year. This interface enables us to connect with thousands of creative professionals, experienced experts and informed consumers from across the United States and around the world. Moreover, PanelPicker helps us identify the most innovative new ideas from this global community, thereby helping to keep SXSW exciting, timely and relevant.

Hugh Forrest
SXSW Chief Programming Officer

Community Voting


2022 SXSW PanelPicker Community Voting is August 10-26, 2021.

How Ideas are Selected: Voting + Staff + Advisory Board

While voting from the community is important, these totals are not the only factor in deciding SXSW programming. The SXSW staff and Advisory Boards also inform a significant percentage in determining the content lineup.

The input of the SXSW staff (30%) and Advisory Boards (40%) helps ensure that less well-known voices have as much of a chance of being selected to speak at SXSW as individuals with large online followings.

PanelPicker Community Voting

Community Votes: 30%
Who knows what you want to see at SXSW better than you? Your input is very important in terms of shaping the look and feel of the March event.

SXSW Advisory Board: 40%
A group of 200+ industry experts from around the world, the SXSW Advisory Board provides significant feedback on all proposals.

SXSW Staff: 30%
With years of experience programming this event, SXSW staffers work to fill any gaps in relevant subject matter, striking a balance between new and veteran speakers.


Application Process


Applications are now closed. All session proposals will be posted for Community Voting from August 10-26, 2021.

Each year, we encourage the SXSW community to upload proposals for solo presentations, panels, book readings, workshops, and more across our 15 tracks of programming.

What Makes A Good Proposal

Proposals should be specific, well-titled and illustrative of the impact of your ideas and the depth of research behind them.

  • The more specific a proposal, the better.
  • Cute titles are fun, but your title is going to be fighting for attention with hundreds of other titles. Direct and explanatory titles work best.
  • The supporting material you enter helps viewers to understand your proposal and distinguish it from the competition. Material you enter becomes available for the public to view when the PanelPicker voting phase begins, so it’s important that you have the right to use anything you include.

2022 Formats

  • Book Reading (1-2 Speakers): A reading by a recently-published author.
  • Meet Up (1-2 Hosts): Networking event of like-minded attendees around a particular topic.
  • Mentor Session (1-on-1): One-on-one session with an industry expert. The Mentor counsels each individual attendee for fifteen minutes, meeting with up to five registrants.
  • Panel (4 max): Diverse discussion around a particular topic. Four speakers max (including a moderator, if applicable).
  • Podcast (Up to 4 Speakers / Hosts): Established episodic audio series around a given theme.
  • Presentation (1-2 Speakers): A prepared presentation, interview or conversation.

The easy-to-follow application form on will walk you step by step through the entry process. Read the PanelPicker FAQ to learn valuable tips for creating a great proposal.

All session proposals will be posted for Community Voting from August 10-26, 2021.

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