SXSW Interactive Call For Panel Proposals

If you read any of my news reports from SXSW Interactive this past March, you got a heads-up as to what the rest of the world (not our too-often-preaching-to-the-choir “AV” industry) thinks is the present and future of “interactive” technology (See ). And why this kind of trade event– if you can call it that– is hyper-important to the future of digital signage, DOOH, or indeed to the business model of anyone reading this news item.

So here’s your second heads-up: SXSW Interactive (to be held March 2013) is soliciting proposals– in a way that’s pure SXSW i.e. in a messy democratic fashion– for Panel sessions. Yes, they have too many Panels at SXSW– deal with it. Some are silly– OK, so is a lot of American culture. Now’s your chance to jump into what the 99.9999% of the country that does not attend DSE, NAB, CETW, or InfoComm defines as Interactive technology. (Don’t get distracted that the press release below also refers to SXSW Music and SXSW film– not just SXSW Interactive. SXSW overlaps the three “conferences” to get an amazing amount of attendee, industry, and press cross-pollination and buzz– and don't we live in a world where technology platforms cross industry lines at will?)

I’d love to go to SXSW Interactive in March, and actually hear a reference to “digital signage” or “DOOH” from one of the hundreds of panelists. Wishful thinking perhaps. (…note to self: not just for a panel proposal, but for marketing in general: maybe it’s time to start calling interactive technology something other than “signage”?)


Proposals Sought for Music, Film and Interactive Events

June 25, 2012 - Austin, Texas - South by Southwest (SXSW) Conferences and Festivals are now accepting programming proposals for the 2013 event with the launch of the popular PanelPicker. The PanelPicker interface is an innovative online tool that allows the SXSW community to have a significant voice in programming Music, Film, and Interactive conference activities through an open proposal and voting process. SXSW 2013 takes place March 8 - 17, 2013 in Austin, Texas.

PanelPicker is a two-step online system. Step One encourages the community to submit proposals for programming at SXSW at beginning Monday, June 25, 2012 through Friday, July 20, 2012. Step Two allows the community to browse all of these ideas and rate which of these proposals they think are the best fit for the March events. Community voting begins Monday, August 13, 2012 and will continue through Friday, August 31, 2012. Votes from the community, along with feedback from SXSW Advisory Boards and the SXSW staff, will help determine programming for the 2013 event. New for 2013, the PanelPicker has been redesigned with a new look and improved functionality including a video field so that the voters in Step Two can get a better idea of participants' presentation style. Additional information including categories, presentation formats, and the user-generated tags feature built in to PanelPicker can be found at The first round of confirmed programming for all three conferences will be released on Monday, October 15, 2012.

"The core of SXSW's programming is to involve and engage the community with diverse and compelling content," says Roland Swenson, SXSW's Managing Director. "PanelPicker allows our community to not only have a voice in what we program, but share their innovative ideas. Every year we are impressed by the creative and forward-thinking submissions."

• SXSW Interactive is seeking advanced-level ideas which focus on creativity and innovation and more solo presentations.

• SXSW Music is interested in panel ideas based on speakers' direct experience, including those about growing the market for performance and recordings on an individual and collective level.

• SXSW Film is interested in developments in storytelling, creativity, distribution and audience building for films in the digital age. Hands-on workshop ideas as well as ideas that shed light on the less well-known, yet highly creative corners of the film industry are also welcome. Entries for the Digital Domain program which addresses new directions in narrative and non-fiction storytelling in web-based environments are also encouraged.

SXSW offers a unique convergence of original music, independent films and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW is a launching pad for new creative content. For more information, visit

David Keene is a publishing executive and editorial leader with extensive business development and content marketing experience for top industry players on all sides of the media divide: publishers, brands, and service providers. Keene is the former content director of Digital Signage Magazine.