Since 2007 the South by Southwest Film Festival (and its sister Music and Interactive events) have allowed attendees to suggest panel ideas and then vote on them using a web site called the PanelPicker. It's not the only method by which the SXSW team selects what panels to present, but it formalizes the process of gauging audience interest in particular topics. They've continued to use the PanelPicker since its inception, so I'm guessing it's a fairly useful tool for the programmers and it certainly makes the target audience feel included.
The PanelPicker for 2010 is currently open for audience voting, and for the first time I've submitted a panel idea: Short Film Secrets. I get a lot of questions from the creators of short films asking how the concepts in Film Festival Secrets apply to short films in particular. There are also a ton of questions out there about the distribution potential for short films, how they can be used to give your career a boost, and which festivals are best for short filmmakers. So that's the panel I think SXSW should host, and I hope you like it well enough to vote for it.
Some other notable panel ideas include:
Voting ends in about a week on September 4th, so get in there to vote early and often!