2018 PanelPicker Process Opens June 26

The Forrest Four-Cast: May 15, 2017

The almost year-long planning cycle for SXSW 2018 begins on Monday, June 26, when we start accepting speaking proposals for next year’s event. All speaking proposals are entered via the SXSW PanelPicker, which helps us leverage the best content ideas from the community of global innovators.

A good strategy to get inspired for 2018 speaking ideas is to examine what kinds of sessions and topics worked best in March 2017. Understand this by browsing the most-watched sessions on the SXSW YouTube channel and the most-listened-to sessions on the SXSW SoundCloud page.

Also, read these two Medium posts for more PanelPicker guidance: “How to Get Rejected by the SXSW Interactive Festival” and “How to Get Rejected Again by the SXSW Interactive Festival.” While these columns are a few years old, the points of advice that they offer are still very relevant.

The deadline for SXSW PanelPicker entries is end of day on Friday, July 21. Badge sales for March 2018 begin on Tuesday, August 1. Register early for the best prices as well as the best selection of downtown hotel rooms (including the new Fairmont Austin, which opens in September 2017).

Stay tuned to the SXSW website for more information and details on the 2018 speaking process. Otherwise, begin to start your brainstorming now on worthy topics for next year’s event. Our experience is that the more you think about your idea, the better your PanelPicker entry will become!

Hugh Forrest tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often (but not always) cover technology-related trends. When not attempting to wordsmith or meditating, he serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW in Austin.


2018 PanelPicker Process Opens June 26 was originally published in Austin Startups on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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