SxSW took a turn for the Democratic in 2007. That marked the first occasion that the community at large was given a meaningful voice in selecting panels for the festival. Since then, panel picking has grown to incorporate programming selection for SXSWedu, SXSW Interactive, SXSW Film, SXSW Music and SXSW Eco conference activities (presentations, panels, discussions, demonstrations, etc.)
From SXSW’s marketing perspective, Panel Picker makes perfect sense. It encourages brands and speakers to ramp up promotion for their panels, and by extension SXSW itself, months earlier than was historically necessary. Audiences also become invested in panels, lobbying on social for their favorites to be selected.
SxSW positions the experience as “a natural extension of the creative intermingling that takes place during the festival itself. We are excited that we can provide a forum for new ideas to debut and flourish year-round.” (Roland Swenson, SXSW Managing Director).
Voting accounts for a significant fraction of a panel’s chances at making it to Austin, but is not the only factor at play: 30% is determined by public voting, with another 30% determined by SXSW staff and a final 40% determined by an advisory board in order to, “ensure that less well-known voices have as much of a chance at being selected to speak.”
Dynamic Signal is excited to once again vie for coveted speaking spots at this years’ SxSW Interactive Festival, especially given how much fun we had last year.
With more than 4500 entries received For 2013 and 4200 and counting thus far for this year’s festival, brands and speakers need to be creative and effective in their promotional efforts. As a medium sized (50+ employees) company, our brand corporate social channels only have so many followers, which is why Dynamic Signal has enlisted the support of employee advocates to promote our panels on social.
Nearly every employee is on social in some capacity these days. And given the fact that 41% of people believe a company’s employees rank higher in public trust than a firm’s PR department, CEO or founder (Edelman’s 2013 Trust Barometer), employee advocacy offers a far more authentic method of reaching a vastly greater audience on social.
By encouraging our employees to share our panel submissions on social, we hope to leverage people powered marketing in order to make our aspirations of taking the Austin stage a reality.
Vote for our panels here: