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    Music PanelPicker Trends and Tips for the 2018 SXSW Conference

    July 6, 2017

July 6, 2017

Music PanelPicker Trends and Tips for the 2018 SXSW Conference

PanelPicker, the two-step online process for entering proposals for Conference programming, is now open. The clock is ticking towards the Friday, July 21 deadline, and we’re eager to hear your ideas. Once your proposals have been collected, the SXSW community is then able to browse through proposals, leave comments, and vote to help guide the March event. You will find useful information about Music PanelPicker trends below. We have split up trends by Music priority tracks with a few examples from last year’s Conference, and additional tips for making the most out of your PanelPicker proposal.

Music Priority Tracks & 2017 Trends


  • Album Release Strategies
  • Recording Technology & Innovation


  • A&R and Talent Discovery
  • Fair Representation in the Industry

Example: Using Data to Discover the Next Big Thing – Voices from across the music industry discuss the variety of metrics and resources that are used to discover emerging talent.


  • Up-and-Coming Success Stories
  • Music & Activism


  • Rise of Niche Festivals
  • Independent Venue Issues

Example: Saving Small Venues & The Independent Music Scene – Small and independent venue owners discuss the challenges of operating venues in the current urban environment, while also reinforcing the cultural need for these venues to survive.


  • Streaming payouts
  • Sync placements

Example: The Music and the Message: Sync, Media & Ads – A great look at how music supervisors work with musicians and composers to place music in ads, television and more.

Additional Tips for Success

Supporting Materials are highly encouraged. Your session title and description can only cover so much information. It’s highly recommended that you include additional links to support the proposal and help the SXSW Staff, the Advisory Board, and the voting public dig deeper into your proposed speaking topic. Videos are a great resource, they can be as simple as a selfie-style phone video explaining what you are planning to bring to the table. Please avoid sending along generic marketing reels that don’t actually provide any support for your session proposal.

Pay attention to spelling and grammar. Be professional, triple-check the spelling and grammar within the text of your PanelPicker proposal. Nothing is more distracting than a quality idea that is weighed down by typos and poor grammar.

The Required Fields Are Required. We ask for speaker bio and qualification (amongst other required fields) for a reason. Please refrain from simply entering in “TBD” or placeholder text into your proposal.

Application Process

During the open application process from Monday, June 26 through Friday, July 21 at 11:59pm PT, 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.

Go to PanelPicker

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

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.

Community Voting Period: Monday, August 7 – Friday, August 25.


Read the 2018 PanelPicker FAQ for important information about SXSW, the PanelPicker submission process, and valuable tips.

“Conversation with Cindy Wilson and Boyfriend” at the 2017 SXSW Conference – Photo by JEALEX Photo

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Source: SxSW Music