For Your Consideration: 15 SXSW Panels That Deserve Your Vote

We love Austin for many reasons:

SXSWi brings together the world’s leading social and digital marketers for a festival of innovation, learning, and merriment.

Even though the event itself is still months away, voting for panels, workshops, and presentations is already underway. We took a look at the potential lineup and we’re already in the SXSW spirit! And what better way to spread SXSW cheer than sharing sessions you’ll want to hear?

Without further adieu, here’s our list of 15 SXSW sessions you won’t want to miss. Vote for ‘em ASAP and you just might see them in March...   

1. The session that makes a difference at the office.

Employee Research Groups. Ever heard of ‘em? After listening to this session you’ll know how they work, what they do, and how you can make the case for an ERG at your company. By the end you’ll be ready to lead the ERG charge, and like Russell, you’ll leave saying, “Wow.”

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2. The session that takes you ‘round the world.

That’s right. This panel hops from country to country, looking at social trends from leading brands across the globe. Get ready for an adventure, because this session covers a lot of ground—literally.

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3. The session that $hows you the money.

Want to know how much your social TV audience is worth? In this panel Viacom shares the technology that the broadcaster is using to show advertisers the value of their spend. If it’s raining money, Viacom (and Tina Fey) know.

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4. The session that tells you how to crush it on Pinterest.

Recipes, tips, tricks, outfits; there’s an endless amount of inspiration on Pinterest. So how do you create the crème de la crème of content that stands out? This panel goes behind the pretty pictures and dives into the structure of an effective Pin and overall Pinterest strategy.

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5. The session that recognizes brands that aren’t afraid to “bee” themselves.

To be heard, or not to be heard? That is the question brands are constantly faced with as they decide whether or not to voice their opinions on touchy subjects. This session discusses brands who’re putting it all out there and unapologetically giving their two cents on real-world events.

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6. The session that shares the truth about being a CEO.

Or do they?! Hear from three successful CEOs who’ve been around the block and know what it takes to get to the top—and stay there. In this session, attendees will get an inside look at the good, the bad, and the less-than-glamorous side of being a chief executive officer.

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7. The session that tells you how to stay in-step with your consumers.

For the marketers who can’t stop, won’t stop, here’s the session that tells you how to keep up with your customers on social. Using data and real-time insights, Comedy Central and their agency will share how brands can join relevant conversations in a way that’s welcomed by fans, followers, and the Peanuts crew.

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8. The session that reminds you that we all have powers.

In today’s social world we all have the power to speak our minds. Everyone is free to share their opinion. It’s a beautiful and scary thing for brands. In this session you’ll hear all about what it means to be an influencer today and how brands are adapting to the change.

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9. The session that reveals how to get big (the healthy way).  

Is your company growing quickly? Mazel Tov! How are you handling the expansion? Whether you’re going through a merger, acquisition, or just a big growth spurt, this session will share key decisions that companies must make in order to efficiently and effectively get bigger.

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10. The session that excites you and your sponsors.

Yes, it’s possible to have a happy broadcaster and a happy sponsor. In this session, attendees will hear about the latest ways that media companies are providing unique sponsorship value to brands, including examples from major sports leagues and broadcasters.

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11. The session that sees the future.

For the social marketer who wants to see the future, this session shares the technologies needed in the next phase of digital evolution. Will your brand be ready?

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12. The session that makes the world a better place.

Social has created a new world of opportunities for nonprofits, but picking the right opportunities can be tricky. You don’t want to promote a lackluster campaign, you don’t want to tire out your audience. So what’s going to get people up and moving? Hear from Ogilvy & Mather and Amnesty International on what social tactics will motivate and inspire action.

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13. The session that gives it to you real.

Yep. This session shares the cold, hard, truth about loyalty in the travel/hospitality industry: it’s broken. Not to worry, it can be fixed. In this panel, Royal Caribbean and its agency will explore how intersection of tech/loyalty/CRM and data is now nurturing a new generation of loyal guests and customers.

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14. The session that presents a beautiful friendship.

The best brands get by with a little help from their friends—startups. Hear from Anheuser-Busch and their friend, Splash, about how their partnership developed into a blossoming, mutually beneficial success. They’ll also share some tips about how to develop partnerships and how not to scare brands away.

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15. The session that tells you how to be safe and have fun!

When you’re working in an industry with a lot of rules and regulations, it’s a challenge to come up with fun, clever content. In this session, hear from the folks who’re overcoming compliance obstacles to create copy that’s user-friendly and lawyer-friendly.

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My gosh. We know that was a lot. Take a few deep breaths, vote for your favorites, and comment with the sessions that you hope will make it to the SXSW stage in March.

Samantha Subar's picture

Samantha Subar

Samantha is a PR Manager at Spredfast where she showcases the customers and thought leaders behind the world's best social software platform. Texas born and raised, Samantha is also a Longhorn lover, wilderness explorer, and cupcake connoisseur. Follow her for the latest on Spredfast and, of course, food.