Choose the Perfect Format to Make Your PanelPicker Proposal Stand Out

Bigger Than Hip-Hop: Why Folks Say It Controls Your Brain - SXSW EDU 2024 - Photo by Miguel Esparza

Want to speak at SXSW EDU 2025 but don’t know which format to choose for your session idea? We’re here to help! Selecting the right format is essential, as it dictates the flow of the session, the number of speakers, the level of audience participation, and even the setup of the room. Take a moment to review this format breakdown before making your decision to ensure you pick the one that best aligns with your session concept and goals.

Format selections are made in the Title & Characteristics section of the PanelPicker application. Enter your session proposal by 11:59pm PT on Sunday, July 21 by visiting and selecting “+ Sign in to Create an EDU Proposal.”


SXSW EDU 2022 PanelPicker Voting(60 min, 2 speakers)

Using an interview or fireside chat model, this format allows for an in-depth exploration of insights and work related to a specific topic, followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

  • This format highlights rich and insightful conversation that delves into topics across the educational landscape
  • Don’t forget to leave time for the audience to join in on the conversation through Q&A

Meet Up

SXSW EDU 2022 PanelPicker Voting(60 min, 1-2 speakers)

This format facilitates a networking event where speakers encourage communities to connect based on shared topics, passions, roles, identity, or interests. Please note that this format does not host traditional presentations.

  • The primary focus is to foster connections and community engagement
  • These sessions are community or topic-focused networking events that can take a variety of forms, such as a facilitated networking activity, game, or discussion


SXSW EDU 2022 PanelPicker Voting(60 min, 3-4 speakers)

Supporting dynamic discussions highlighting multiple viewpoints on a particular topic, panels provide a platform for various perspectives, encourage an engaging conversation, and are followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

  • Since this format allows for multiple presenters to contribute to the conversation, choose your speaker lineup carefully to consider what voices and perspectives can contribute to a rich conversation on the topic
  • If you submit a proposal for a panel, be sure to pay close attention to the diversity guidelines


SXSW EDU 2022 PanelPicker Voting(90 min, 1+ speakers)

Performances present a musical, theatrical, storytelling, dance, poetry, or other performance that includes a workshop or an extended Q&A session. This format showcases the value of performing arts as a means of deeper learning and provides valuable takeaways for the audience.

  • Additional performers can join the session if accepted
  • Performances should be combined with a workshop-style experience, offering a deeper understanding of the concepts fueling the performance as a vehicle for deeper learning and takeaways


SXSW EDU 2022 PanelPicker Voting(60 min, 2-4 speakers)

This format is an opportunity for media organizations and existing podcasts to host a conversation on education-related topics in front of a live audience. The Podcast format offers an opportunity to amplify voices and share stories covering all aspects of education.

  • Audience Q&A can be included to enhance engagement
  • These recordings will be shared with organizers afterwards to be released as future podcast episodes


SXSW EDU 2022 PanelPicker Voting(30 min, 1 speaker)

In this format, speakers deliver a concise solo presentation that highlights new and emerging ideas. Following the presentation, engage in an audience Q&A session.

  • Solo sessions allow speakers to delve into specific topics quickly, offering attendees a focused and intentional presentation
  • Work to isolate the primary aspect of your topic and get into the specifics


SXSW EDU 2022 PanelPicker Voting(90 min, 1-3 speakers)

Conduct an in-depth instructional program that involves hands-on learning activities and provides specific takeaways.

  • Attendees highly value workshops due to the comprehensive information and interactive exercises they offer
  • The longer duration allows speakers to delve deeply into the subject matter and facilitate active participation from all participants

Explore More PanelPicker Resources

Take advantage of the available PanelPicker resources to ensure you submit a complete and thoughtful proposal. Review the PanelPicker Guide for a step-by-step review of the application and community numbers and read through the PanelPicker FAQ for a deeper understanding.

See You at SXSW EDU 2025

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, August 6 when registration opens for the 2025 event. Take advantage early for the best rate and hotel options March 3-6, 2025 in downtown Austin.

Sign up for SXSW EDU email updates, check out the News feed, watch videos, and follow us on TwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagram, and TikTok to get the most up-to-date information.

Photo by Jon Currie

By Auva Saghafi