Representatives of SXSW showed up in San Antonio to deliver an in-person invitation to participate, as well as to make a few special announcements for 2018 in case we hadn’t heard. Which most of us hadn’t, but not because we’re out of the loop or anything. We, uh, just were busy with our own cool local stuff. Also, they brought mescal, so they were generally well-received. Yes, San Antonio accepts your tribute and is pleased. You now have our ear.
The three presenters launched into neatly performed yet surprisingly open presentation aimed at arming our quaint burg with the tools we need to become involved and successfully so. Here’s what you need to know.
PanelPicker Entries: All Deadlines July 21
PanelPicker is SXSW’s gesture of taking a town hall approach to session programming. The online platform not only facilitates community vetting of potential content, it is also the portal through which you can potentially wedge yourself into the events, whether as a solo presenter, mentoring session, workshop event, and various other formats.
PanelPicker applies to most areas SXSW (at least the ones covered here), and proposals are graded by the combined decisions of the public, SXSW staff, and an advisory board of professionals in the relevant field. These decisions are weighted at 30%, 30%, and 40%, respectively. A detailed guide to participating is available here.
Voting begins August 7 and continues through August 25, but the deadline for submissions is July 21, so get going.
Taking the week before the mainstream affairs, SXSW EDU is a conference purposed to “advance teaching and learning.” Aside from presenter Jessica MacCall’s specific mention of “storytelling in the classroom and working with students”, the program’s listed ‘tracks’ allow for topics that could potentially appear anywhere else in SXSW, only presented with higher-brows and tweed, elbow-patched jackets.
If you’d like to learn more about SXSW EDU, inquiries may be sent to [firstname.lastname@example.org].
LGBTQ Sessions: March 10-11
As a new series of programming with little preparation and a bare minimum of official recognition, the LGBTQ Sessions unfortunately haven’t been given the infrastructure for PanelPicker interaction and opportunities. The programming is spearheaded by presenter Chondra Washington, who is coordinating sessions that tackle issues of equality, trans-racial violence, queer parenting, adoption, as well as keeping herself open for any other ideas.
The official lineup of these sessions is far from being finalized, so keep your eyes peeled for the anouncement.
Beyond the expected tournaments, technical previews, and Mountain Dew soaked pajama parties in hotel rooms, this mini-expo will have its own “Gaming Awards,” though its unclear what the award categories are and who is eligible to win them. Also, it looks like they’re going to be giving tabletop gaming a fair bit of love. Deadlands!
For tips on submitting to PanelPicer and additional minutia, you can view the presentation slides can in full here.