What session formats are available and how many speakers are needed?

SXSW and SXSW EDU offer many different session formats. Below are the formats you can choose from in the PanelPicker system.


Book Reading (1-2 Speakers)

  • A reading by a recently-published author.

Meet Up (1-2 Hosts)

  • Networking event of like-minded attendees around a particular topic.

Mentor Session (1-on-1)

  • One-on-one session with an industry expert. The Mentor counsels each individual attendee for fifteen minutes, meeting with up to five registrants. For more information on how to apply solely for this format, please email sessions@sxsw.com.

Panel (4 speakers max)

  • Diverse discussion around a particular topic. Four speakers max (including a moderator, if applicable). Live podcast recordings can be part of this format.

Presentation (1-2 Speakers)

  • A prepared presentation, interview or conversation. Live podcast recordings can be part of this format.

Workshop (1-2 Speakers)

  • Deep dive sessions with more hands-on learning activities and specific takeaways for professional growth and development. Session time ranges from 90-120 minutes.


Conversation (60 min, 2 speakers)

  • An in-depth and rich dialogue in an interview or fireside chat format that discusses and dissects work and insights on a particular topic, followed by audience Q&A.

Meet Up (60 min, 1-2 speakers)

  • A speaker-facilitated networking event that encourages communities to connect around similar topics, passions, roles, or interests. Please note this is not a presentation-based session format .

Panel (60 min, 3-4 speakers)

  • A dynamic and diverse discussion offering multiple viewpoints on a particular topic, followed by audience Q&A.

Performance (90 min, 1+ speakers)

  • A musical, theatrical, storytelling, dance, poetry, or other performance that includes a workshop or extended Q&A to reflect on the value of the performing arts as a vehicle for deeper learning and offer takeaways for the audience.

Podcast (60 min, 2-4 speakers)

  • For media organizations and existing podcasts, a conversation on topics across the education landscape, recorded in front of a live audience to be used as a future episode.

Solo (30 min, 1 speaker)

  • A short solo presentation highlighting new and emerging ideas, followed by audience Q&A.

Workshop (90 min, 1-3 speakers)

  • An in-depth, instructional program with hands-on learning activities and specific takeaways.
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