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.

PanelPicker opens on June 28 for SXSW 2023 entries.

"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.

Each year, the SX community enters session ideas and then grades each proposal during Community Voting. The SXSW staff and Advisory Boards also inform a significant percentage in determining the content lineup.

PanelPicker is now closed for the 2022 season, but will open on June 28 for the 2023 event.

Explore all confirmed programming on the SXSW Schedule and stay tuned to SXSW News for more announcements throughout the season. Subscribe to our event newsletters for the latest SX updates.

Application Process


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.

PanelPicker is now closed for the 2022 season, but will open on June 28 for the 2023 event.

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.
  • Proof your work!
  • Meet the final deadline: October 22 at 11:59pm PT.

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.

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


Community Voting is closed for the 2022 season.

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.

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