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 programming is scheduled at SXSW.

The 2020 PanelPicker entry period opens July 1, 2019. Stay tuned for more details coming this summer.

Photo by Danny Matson

Photo by Danny Matson

About PanelPicker


SXSW values community input and involvement, so we developed the two-step online PanelPicker® process to encourage the SXSW community to enter proposals and have a significant voice in daytime Conference programming. As part of our community, you can submit and browse proposals, leave comments, and vote to help shape the March event.

The 2020 PanelPicker entry period opens July 1, 2019. Stay tuned for more details coming this summer.

Application Process


The 2020 PanelPicker entry period opens July 1, 2019. Stay tuned for more details coming this summer.

PanelPicker® is a two-step online process that allows the SXSW community to have a significant voice in Conference programming for SXSW as well as SXSW EDU and SXSW Gaming.

We encourage the community to upload proposals related to interactive, film and, music industries in variety of session formats including panels, solo presentations, workshops, and more.

During the application period, create a new user account or login at If you created a general SXSW account in 2013 or later you will be able to use the same login and password for PanelPicker. Each individual account may enter only one (1) proposal for the SXSW Conference.

Explore our 25 Tracks of programming on the SXSW Conference page.

Tips for Success

Browse tips for creating a successful proposal below and stay tuned to SXSW News for more PanelPicker information and updates.

  • Follow the instructions and read the PanelPicker FAQ for important information about SXSW and valuable tips for creating a great proposal.
  • Create a future-focused, original proposal that shows what you’re passionate about.
  • Depth and specificity – the more specific a proposal is, the better. Drill down to what really matters.
  • Your title should reflect your description – think simple, accurate, and succinct. Tip: Avoid all CAPS in your title.
  • Diversity matters – all panels (3-4 person sessions) must include diversity in gender, race, location, and employment of speakers as well as diversity in thought and opinion.
  • Include a video with your proposal. Your speaking abilities matter and we’d like to see them. No fancy production required.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread. Did we mention to proofread? You will NOT be able to make any edits once you have clicked “Enter My Proposal.” Be sure you have reviewed your proposal carefully.
  • Meet the deadline!

Community Voting


The 2020 PanelPicker entry period opens July 1, 2019. Stay tuned for more details coming this summer.

All ideas received during the PanelPicker® entry period will be posted online for community voting. It’s as easy as “review, comment, and vote” to help shape SXSW programming.

PanelPicker Community Voting

Community votes comprise 30% of the final decision plus input of the SXSW Staff (30%) and Advisory Board (40%) helps ensure that less well-known voices have as much of a chance as being selected to speak at SXSW as individuals with large online followings. Together these percentages help determine the final content lineup.

Public 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 industry experts from around the world, the SXSW Advisory Board provides significant feedback on all entries.

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.

Hotel Information for Speakers


If you are selected as SXSW speaker, you have access to a limited number of rooms being protected for participants through SXSW Housing & Travel. Rooms are limited to one per registrant and will sell out fast so be sure to make your hotel reservation as soon as you are registered. Requests can be completed in your Shopping Cart or SXSW Social account. In the meantime, check out SXSW Housing & Travel for more information about our hotels, pricing, reservation policies, and travel information.

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