South by Southwest Interactive (web, twitter) is probably the hottest event for people into digital business, Internet startups and what’s going to be the next killer app/online-service, etc. It features more than one thousand speakers over 5 days. The producers have managed to fill up such a busy agenda with quality content through a crowd-sourced contest: the “Panel Picker“.
The Panel Picker allows “anyone with access to the Internet” to send a proposal (AKA regular guys like you and me but also internet stars like Jeff Jarvis and others). The proposals are then voted through a pondered process that includes SXSW’s Staff (30% of weight in the selection), an Advisory Board (40%) and Public Vote (30%).
Tips for increasing the chance of success with the Panel Picker
Now for the 2011 edition of SXSW they received more than 3,000 proposals so it’s not easy to get picked. In the following video, Shawn O’Keefe (linkedin, twitter) -producer of SXSWi- notes that many of the proposals received are not focused enough.
The sessions last 60 minutes and the organizers want them to be as valuable as possible to the audience, so proposals that are too general or try to cover too much information, become less attractive. During a few conversations with the SXSW team, they have acknowledged that even panels with fewer speakers (or even just one) tend to be more eligible because they stimulate the presenter to be better prepared, while panels with several speakers on stage tend to favor improvisation.
The Panel Picker entry process CLOSES on July 15th!
How to preserve the value of SXSWi
Over the last year the interactive part of Southby has expanded into 10 campuses all over the center of Austin, Texas. Each campus was structured around one particular theme in order to foster the connection between likeminded creatives and make it easier to navigate the overwhelming amount of information present at the event. The 2012 edition will further develop this approach to the event.