Session Formats

From Featured Speakers to Workshops, learn more about the session formats for programming tracks at the SXSW Conference.

2018 Mentor Session – Photo by Tico Mendoza

2018 Mentor Session – Photo by Tico Mendoza

About Session Formats


Select a Session Format to Learn More:

Book Readings | Book Signings | Featured Speakers | Focus15s | Keynotes |
Meet Ups | Mentor Sessions | Pitch Events | Podcast Stage |
Round Tables | Solo/Dual/Panels | Workshops

Book Readings

SXSW Book Readings are hour-long sessions focusing on the launch of a new book and give the author a chance to explore the themes or motifs present in their work. These are a great way for both first time and returning authors to showcase their latest title to a diverse audience. SXSW Book Reading sessions are followed by a Book Signing at the SXSW Bookstore. Browse Past Book Readings »

Book Signings

Book Signings at the SXSW Bookstore provide attendees the opportunity to meet their favorite authors, purchase their latest work, and return home with an autographed copy.

Featured Speakers

Looking for mind-expanding presentations by industry leaders? SXSW Conference Featured Speakers bring together some of the biggest and brightest names of our time.​ Across the various themes and trends at SXSW, Featured Speakers present a snapshot of the most transformative ideas shaping our future.​​

Featured Speakers


Focus15s are 13-minute solo presentations featuring the wisdom and experience from the SXSW community. After the speaker’s 13-minute timeframe has concluded, another speaker takes the stage two minutes later. Focus15s are a group of four presentations taking place in a one-hour time block. A specific theme / topic / trend will run through the presentations.


Keynotes are some of the creative and tech industries’ most inspired thinkers and cover a wide range of compelling topics. These powerful presentations by diverse visionaries from the ever-evolving worlds of Interactive, Film, and Music are the center of the SXSW Conference.


Meet Ups

SXSW attracts thousands of registrants from across the globe that are looking for new ideas, new collaborators and an opportunity to create essential connections. Meet Ups are a fundamental and relaxed way to get connected with the dynamic SXSW community while mixing and mingling. Browse Past Meet Ups »

Mentor Sessions

Mentor Sessions offer one-on-one coaching with professionals from all aspects of the music, film, and interactive industries. Within the 75 minute duration of Mentor Sessions, there will be five one-on-one meetings lasting 15 minutes each. Advance sign-up is required and access is limited to badge type. Stay tuned for more information later in the SXSW season. Browse Past Mentor Sessions »

Pitch Events

Organized in a competitive format, pitch events offer companies the opportunity to showcase their cutting-edge product or service to a panel of judges and the SXSW audience. Learn more about SXSW Pitch (formerly SXSW Accelerator) and browse a full list of Past Pitch Events »

Podcast Stage

The SXSW Podcast Stage will bring podcasts covering all facets of life including music, film, technology, comedy, politics and more to an intimate stage that will be recorded amongst a live audience from Friday, March 8 – Thursday, March 14.

SXSW Podcast Stage

Round Tables

Round Tables for Film and Music bring together three industry experts and SXSW attendees for an informal and enlightening discussion on a specific topic. Industry insiders will spend 20 minutes at each table before switching. Advance sign-up is required and access is limited to badge type. Stay tuned for more information later in the SXSW season. Browse Past Rounds Table Sessions »

Solo / Dual / Panels

The vast majority of our Solo, Dual, and Panel programming is sourced through PanelPicker®.

Solo and Dual presentations offer a deep dive look into more targeted topics. Panels typically feature one moderator and up to three additional industry experts who represent different perspectives and opinions in a given area, making for a lively discussion. Each of these formats is one hour in length.


Hands-on, in-depth workshops offer advanced level information that revolves around a particular topic or skill and enable SXSW registrants to gain more expertise in their particular area of interest. Workshops vary in length ranging from one and a half hours to three hours, depending on the particular session. Advance sign-up is required and access is limited to badge type. Stay tuned for more information later in the SXSW season. Browse Past Workshops »

Contact Us

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Explore SXSW Conference Tracks

The SXSW Conference provides an opportunity for global professionals at every level to participate, learn, and network. Each track allows attendees to explore what’s next in the worlds of entertainment, culture, and technology.

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