I first made my way to South By Southwest in March of 2003. The conference, the city of Austin, and the creative industries have all changed considerably since then. It was just 16.5 years ago, but in our accelerated, digitally-disrupted world things happen fast.
To make my point even clearer, when I first attended South By in 2003, there was no Twitter, no Facebook, no Instagram, no YouTube, no Spotify, no Netflix, no Snapchat, and no iPhones.
Also, in 2003, Austin was home to 693,000 people. Bat City is now home to more than one million, making it the 11th largest city (and 30th largest metropolitan statistical area) in the U.S.
Going Strong Since 1987
Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is the premier destination for thousands of creatives from a vast and diverse range of industries to discover what’s next.
The conference will take place March 13-22, 2020 at the Austin Convention Center and at dozens of converted spaces in and around downtown. Many of the “off-campus” events are free and open to the public, and even for badge-holders, these temporary installations (and the programming offered therein) are often well worth discovering.
PanelPicker is the official SXSW user-generated session proposal platform. Thousands of people submit ideas for presentations, and then people reach out to their networks to ask for support.
The SXSW PanelPicker launched in 2007 to formalize an input process that has always been a vital part of the event. Over the years, many of the most compelling sessions at SXSW have come directly from this process.
— SXSW (@sxsw) August 5, 2019
Hugh Forrest, SXSW Chief Programming Officer, says, “PanelPicker connects us with the thousands of creative professionals, experienced experts and informed consumers that make up the global SXSW community. This interface helps us identify the most compelling new ideas within the many different industries we serve and, in so doing, keeps SXSW exciting, timely, and relevant.”
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