Turning it’s attention away briefly from brand activation at the awesomely popular SXSW technology and music festival, Event Marketer Magazine takes a look at the enduring success of the PanelPicker – SXSW’s audience-voting mechanism that is part popularity contest and part curated content experience.

PanelPicker manifests the grass roots, egalitarian promise of the web and exemplifies the virtue of a popularity contest as a means to pick out innovative new services and ideas that matter not only to attendees but to customers yet to be created. In this case, the wisdom of the masses seems to work quite well indeed.

For experiential marketers, who increasingly are taking on the role of content producers and publishers who release media over multiple channels in campaign format, PanelPicker is an example of crowdsourcing done right. By putting the power to create whatSXSW is and stands for in the hands of its community (with just the right amount of editorial oversight be experts), the content is timely and fresh and the “payoff” at the SXSW that much better for attendees.

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