Since 2010 or so, while I am at SXSW in Austin, I have started to make the panels during the day a priority for my time at the conference. The trick is waking up by 10 a.m. most days.
They are usually filled with industry celebs I can geek out on (like singer-songwriter Paul Williams) and almost always help me with upcoming projects, like the panel I attended about the vinyl record explosion, which led to me writing a whole feature for the Houston Press.
It's always fun to see what is interesting people in the music business enough to submit a panel. One year things like Turntable.fm and Spotify were all the rage; before that it was Twitter and Facebook, and in 2011, I think, there were three panels on Juggalos.