At the 2016 South by South West Interactive Festival’s Community Management meetup, professionals from across the world agreed that our discipline needs greater prominence at SXSW 2017. Sessions tagged as “community” in 2016 were often a heartwarming part of SXgood, not showcases of best practice and cutting edge application for business success. Frustrated Community Management professionals vowed to change this for next year.
Following discussions with the SXSW organisers themselves, this is an appeal for all community professionals who are submitting an idea to the Panel Picker to do one simple thing:
Tag your proposal with Community Management.
There are Community Management panel ideas emerging from thought leaders, community professionals, and household name enterprises. The Community Roundtable is also helping its members with submissions to deliver wide-ranging Community Management case studies, best practice, research and, thought leadership.
The Panel Picker process
The Panel Picker opens on 28th June, so this is the time to start planning! Visit the SXSW website to familiarise yourself with the Panel Picker process and requirements. When submitting a panel proposal you will select the stream that your panel submission applies to (branding, content etc), and have the option of adding three tags to give greater context to your talk. Make one of these Community Management, with uppercase C and M. No variations, no substitutions! By using a consistent tag across all panels proposed by community professionals, we can give delegates a clear picture of the breadth of material available when Interactive rolls around next March.
How SXSW handles duplicate content
Where a number of panels are proposed with similar content, the organisers will either select the strongest, or ask several proposers to work together. To deliver a strong Community Management program, talk to your fellow managers: see who else is submitting, what topics are being covered, and whether you can collaborate, or develop a different panel. We have a wealth of experience between us, and it would be a shame to waste any of it.
How to get involved
If you think you’d like to contribute to Community Management programming at SXSW 2017, get in touch as soon as possible. We are trying to reduce the risk of panel duplication, cover a wide range of topics, and put professionals together to share their expertise. Members of The Community Roundtable should email Amy Turner and independent Community professionals email Kate Baucherel.