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

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


Book Reading (60 minutes)

  • A reading by a recently-published author. One or two speakers.

Focus15 (15 minutes)

  • Focus15s are short solo presentations featuring the wisdom and experience of the SXSW community. Focus15s are linked by a shared theme, topic or trend, with each group of four presentations taking place in a one-hour time block.

Meet Up (60 minutes)

  • Networking event of like-minded attendees around a particular topic. One or two hosts.

Mentor Session (75 minutes)

  • One-on-one session with an industry expert. The Mentor counsels each individual attendee for fifteen minutes, meeting with up to five registrants.

Panel (60 minutes)

  • Diverse discussion around a particular topic. Four speakers max (including a moderator, if applicable).

Podcast (60 minutes)

  • Established episodic audio series around a given theme. Up to a total of four speakers and hosts.

Presentation (60 minutes)

  • A prepared presentation, interview or conversation with one or two speakers.


Campfire (1-2 speakers / 60 minutes)

  • A speaker-led, open conversation that focuses on driving a dialogue with attendees around a particular topic rather than offering a structured presentation

Case Study (1-3 speakers / 60 minutes)

  • A focused presentation highlighting research findings from relevant initiatives and projects, followed by audience Q&A

Future20 (1 speaker / 20 minutes)

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

Hands On (1-2 speakers / 30 minutes)

  • A short, informal, activity-based session that facilitates interactive and creative learning techniques

Meet Up (1-2 speakers / 60 minutes)

  • A speaker-facilitated networking event that encourages communities to connect around similar topics, passions, roles, or interests

Panel (2-4 speakers / 60 minutes)

  • A diverse and dynamic exploration of a particular topic, followed by audience Q&A

Performance (1-3 speakers / 90 minutes)

  • A dynamic performance combined with a workshop-style experience offering a deeper understanding of the concepts fueling the performance, and activities that can be adopted for the classroom

Podcast (2-4 speakers / 60 minutes)

  • A podcast conversation on topics across the education landscape, hosted by media organizations and recorded in an intimate setting amongst a live audience at the event

Talk (2-3 speakers / 30 minutes)

  • A focused, high-energy presentation centered on breakthroughs and insights, followed by audience Q&A

Workshop (1-3 speakers / 90 minutes)

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