South by Southwest (SXSW) Conferences and Festivals are now accepting programming proposals for the 2012 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 (panels, presentations, discussions, etc.) through an open proposal and voting process. Originally launched by the Interactive Festival in 2006, last season saw record-breaking submissions – over 3,000 – for all three events.

PanelPicker™ is a two-step online system. Step One encourages the community to submit proposals for programming at SXSW through the PanelPicker™ interface at http://panelpicker.sxsw.com beginning Monday, June 20, 2011 through Friday, July 15, 2011. Additional information including categories, presentation formats, and the user-generated tags feature built in to PanelPicker™ can be found at http://sxsw.com/panelpicker_faq . 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 event. Community voting begins Monday, August 15, 2011 and will continue through Friday, September 2, 2011. The first round of confirmed programming for all three conferences will be released on Monday, October 24, 2011.

“Engaging with our community has always helped shape the SXSW experience, says Roland Swenson, SXSW’s Managing Director. “And the PanelPicker interface is a prime example of how we’re able to tap into their wisdom. Every year we’re amazed by the innovative ideas that our community cultivates and we’re glad we can provide them with a platform to deem what is timely and important.”

For 2012, SXSW Interactive is seeking advanced-level ideas, sessions that cover technical issues and more solo and dual presentations. SXSW Film is most 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 encouraged. 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. The PanelPicker™ interface is accessible to the public, whether past attendees or engaged consumers. Participants will have the opportunity to propose and vote on ideas for any or all three SXSW events. Votes from the community, along with feedback from SXSW Advisory Boards and the SXSW staff, will help determine programming for the 2012 event.

About SXSW Conferences & Festivals
The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conferences & Festivals (March 9-18, 2012) offer the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW® is the premier destination for discovery.

Year after year, the event is a launching pad for new creative content. New media presentations, music showcases and film screenings provide buzz-generating exposure for creators and compelling entertainment for audiences. Conference panel discussions present a forum for learning, business activity thrives at the Trade Shows and global networking opportunities abound. Austin serves as the perfect backdrop for SXSW®, where career development flourishes amid the relaxed atmosphere. Intellectual and creative intermingling among industry leaders continues to spark new ideas and carve the path for the future of each ever-evolving field, long after the events’ conclusion. Highlights from the 2011 Interactive festival included the following presentations from Blake Mycoskie (TOMS Shoes), Felicia Day (“The Guild”), Craig J. Venter (Founder of J. Craig Venter Institute), Al Franken (US Senator, Minnesota) and Marissa Mayer (Google). The Film Festival and Conference presented the world premiere films including, Duncan Jones’ “Source Code,” Jodie Foster’s “The Beaver” and Joe Cornish’s “Attack the Block” as well as speakers, Paul Reubens aka Pee Wee Herman and director Todd Phillips. Highlights from the Music Festival and Conference included showcases from Raphael Saadiq, TV on the Radio and Fitz and the Tantrums, and speakers Yoko Ono, Duran Duran and Bob Geldof.

SXSW® 2012 is sponsored by Chevrolet, IFC, PepsiCo, Sonicbids and The Austin Chronicle. For more information, visit www.sxsw.com.

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