How do conference panels work


A panel discussion is a specific format used in a meeting, conference, or convention. It is a live, in-person or virtual discussion about a specific topic amongst a selected group of experts who share differing perspectives in front of an audience.

Panel discussions are the hallmark of modern conferences and events, even virtual ones. The purpose of a panel discussion is to spark conversation between a group of experts or industry and thought leaders, so that the audience can learn from their discourse and interaction.Aug 18, 2020


What makes a successful conference panel?

Conference panels are controversial and often devolve to boredom or a full on war. A successful panel requires great moderation. I have some thoughts. A couple of months ago I was approached by a soon-to-be conference panel moderator who asked if I had some tips.

How to grab participants to your panel at conferences?

You need to start early because you are a small person with no social or academic capital. Thus, to grab participants to your panel, you must act early and quickly. Note that many conferences have a special kind of status for some panels, ie, an “invited panel” or some such.

What is involved in the planning of a conference?

This includes how attendees will navigate the conference, the general layout of each room, and the distribution of food and beverage. This is the part of planning a conference that most people associate with event planning.

What is the role of the panel?

The panel is typically facilitated by a “ moderator ” who guides the panel and the audience through the event. The panel, typically 3-4 experts or practitioners in the field, shares facts, offers opinions and responds to audience questions either through questions curated by the moderator or taken from the audience directly.


How does a panel work at a conference?

A panel discussion IS: The panelists are a group of people typically 3-4 experts or practitioners in the field, who share facts, offer opinions, and responds to audience questions either through questions curated by the moderator or taken from the audience directly. The panel session typically lasts for 60-90 minutes.

What is the main purpose of a panel discussion?

Panel discussions at conferences are a useful way to trigger an exchange of viewpoints among experts, either with prepared statements or in response to questions from the audience. Because they involve on-the-spot interaction, they are more difficult to prepare for than presentations.

How do I prepare for a conference panel?

If you have a panel presentation coming up, try these five ideas on for size.Prepare like a keynote. If you’re reading this, you’re already ahead on this point. … Research your other panelists, and interact. … Arm yourself with stories. … Keep it succinct. … Be energetic start to finish.

What do a panel discussion and a conference involve?

Panel discussions at a conference have the potential to be a highlight of the entire event. They bring together a group of diverse scholars and experts who share a common interest in the topic, providing a platform for intelligent discussion and debate.

How do you structure a panel discussion?

How do you structure a panel discussion?Welcome everyone to the event.Introduce panelists.Initial topic presentation/introduction.Curated questions from before the event.Live questions from the audience.Summary of the key points discussed.Final thanks and remarks.Audience networking period.

How many members does a panel discussion have?

Panelists usually comprise 4-5 industry experts who can share trends, insights, and ideas that can answer questions from the audience. A panel talk’s ideal length is 45 minutes to one hour.

Do you pay panelist?

To entice those who have a track record of being a paid professional speaker, you can: Pay a panelist fee. Ask the speaker about their “panelist rate.” (My bet is that the speaker doesn’t have one and will quote you either the full fee, something a bit less, or will stammer…which gives you leverage to negotiate!)

What makes a good panel?

A good panel discussion is a well choreographed performance with room for fortuitous improvisation. You want to make it look effortless to the audience, but the organizers and moderator should have a well-planned approach to making the event interesting and engaging.

How do you talk on a panel?

The TakeawayKnow the agenda, questions and panelists in advance.Prepare but don’t over-prepare.Give specific examples, not general advice.Tell personal stories, using the SPAR model.Build upon, but don’t repeat, comments from other panelists.Keep it real! Be vulnerable and authentic.

Who takes part in a panel discussion?

A panel discussion, or simply a panel, involves a group of people gathered to discuss a topic in front of an audience, typically at scientific, business, or academic conferences, fan conventions, and on television shows.

How many minutes does a typical panel discussion last?

The ideal length for a panel discussion is 45 minutes to one hour. The ideal number of participants is 4-5, plus moderator. I tend to book five guests for many panels, on the assumption that one of them sometimes drops out at the last minute, leaving me with four.

What are the 2 types of panel discussion?

CategoriesDebate Moderator.panel moderator.

Why are panels important at conferences?

There’s a practical reason for this–panels allow the organizers to bring in three times as many speakers as solo speeches would. With enough big names on the conference program, you can draw in a bigger crowd.

Why are attendees there on panels?

“Attendees are there because they want information and skills that will help them solve problems in their own lives and work ,” says Fink. “The best panels give attendees time to think about and apply what they’ve learned during the panel.”

Adam Grant

A great panel feels like being a fly on the wall for a fascinating conversation between friends or sparring partners. But it’s rare. Here’s what I’ve learned about how to make it happen.

Pushpanjali Dabral

Dear Mr Chris, I am a Freelance Business Consultant from Pune .Forbes India has a collaborative Business Plan for Ted to become your Business partners.

Pushpanjali Dabral

We are interested in publishing your Ted events in our magazine Forbes India.Please email your address or contact at 9049874777 Please visit the website of Forbes India It would be a win win situation for both the companies to get associated as Business Partners As a Business Consultant I would strongly recommend to take it forward.

Grace Chung

Thanks for these tips. They’re very helpful as I lead a small panel at the FutureWork conference in NYC on December 5th on Redefining the 9-5.

Panel Moderation is Conversation Seeding

Panel moderation is tricky business and every moderator does things differently. I base my moderating on my background in political parties where strict moderation is necessary to keep the conversation on topic and ensure everyone is represented equally. Here’s a short breakdown of what I do and answers to your questions.

Your Turn: Share Your Thoughts, Ideas, Experiences, and Links

Have opinions on conference panels or what I’ve presented here? Thoughts or ideas? A conference panel experience as a moderator, panelist, or audience member? Or maybe a link to other resources on panel moderation? Share them in the comments below!

By Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Morten Rand-Hendriksen is a staff author at LinkedIn Learning and specializing in WordPress and web design and development and an instructor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. He is a popular speaker and educator on all things design, web standards and open source.

What is a panel presentation?

A panel is NOT: A set of presentations, one after another. The panel format allows for a brief introduction and then discussion among the panelists and audience. If the majority of the panel agenda is centered around presenting information, then just give each panelist a speaking slot with a Q&A after each speaker.

Who facilitates a panel discussion?

A panel discussion is typically facilitated by a skilled “ panel moderator ” who guides the panel and the audience through a lively conversation about a specific topic.

What is a panel discussion?

Panel Discussion Definition. A panel discussion is a specific format used in a meeting, conference, or convention. It is a live, in-person or virtual discussion about a specific topic amongst a selected group of experts who share differing perspectives in front of an audience. The main purpose of a panel discussion is for …

How long is a panel session?

The panel session typically lasts for 60-90 minutes. It can be produced to be in front of a live audience or recorded for replay, shown in-person or remotely, with the moderator and panelists in one location or attending remotely, and with the audience in one physical room, or “ virtually ” (otherwise known as “geographically dispersed”).

Why are panelists not responsible for the entire presentation?

Because panelists aren’t responsible for the entire presentation, they feel safer in this format and preparation suffers. Then the audience suffers from disengaging content. If you want to present well, practice your speaking part like a keynote.

How to learn who will be sharing a panel with you?

When you learn who will be sharing a panel with you, research their bios on LinkedIn and learn about their background. Often a moderator will schedule a prep call, but if not, put one together yourself. If you’ve discussed ahead of time, it’s far easier to ask pointed questions, and lob topic areas to others.

What is the hardest thing to manage on a panel?

One of the hardest aspects to manage on panels is allotment of time. Some people tend to seize the floor greedily, while others sit back and wait to respond. Commonly, panelists will ramble on way past the point, giving extraneous details that take time away from a fresh topic.

What is the reality of planning a conference?

The reality of planning a conference is that, without any experience, you can lose a lot of time over-thinking each little detail while overlooking more important issues.

How to make a conference plan?

Step 1: Craft a Vision of Your Conference. Every event begins with a vision, but you’ll need to transform your vision into words and numbers in order to measure costs and make informed planning decisions. First, you need to start with the event planning basics like who, what, when, where and why.

How long does it take to organize a conference?

The entire process can take a couple of years depending on the size of the group, but it is conceivable to launch a successful conference in a single year if you can make swift decisions.

What is a conference floor?

Conferences typically feature an exhibition area or convention floor where sponsors and vendors rent space to promote their products. This can be a very lucrative opportunity for your conference if you organize everything well. Keep in mind though that an exhibition area will require a significant commitment of both time and resources, so make sure you are prepared to manage the needs of multiple vendors before you commit to this format.

How to shop for a conference venue?

After you have a more specific idea about when your conference will take place and how many people you want to attend, you can then begin to shop for an appropriate venue. Keep in mind that your venue selection will also determine your catering and audio/visual costs. This is because most conference centers and event hotels require you to use their in-house services for any on-site events.

Why is attendance important in conferences?

Even the most popular conferences must effectively market their event to fill every seat in the house. Attendance is the single most important factor to the success of your event. Good attendance numbers bring revenue and sponsorship opportunities.

Do conference centers require overnight accommodations?

This is because most conference centers and event hotels require you to use their in-house services for any on-site events. Most conferences will need to provide some sort of overnight accommodations for guests traveling from outside the region.


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