Congratulations! You had a good experience being a powerful panelist and want to be invited to participate in more panels. Here are some ideas on how to be invited to participate in more panel discussions:
Be a Great Panelist. Word travels quickly in the meetings industry. It’s pretty simple: When you do a great job as a panelist and that panel gets rave reviews from the participants, you’ll be asked to do more panels.
Be Easy. Not only is it about the work you do on stage, but it is also important that you are easy to work with. You respond to emails. Send in the requested information. Get to the venue in plenty of time and check in with the meeting organizer and panel moderator. No one wants to work with a prima donna.
Publish Your Perspective. Whether it is in a blog, vlog, LinkedIn article, YouTube Short, share some learnings that provide insights and value to the prospective audiences.
Look for Events. There are probably other events in your topical space. Look for those events and connect with the event organizers. Let them know that you are interested in being a panelist. They may even publish a “Call For Speakers” where you can apply to moderate a panel.
Let It Be Known. If you don’t let others know that you want to do more panels, then only a few people will know you as “the best-kept secret.” Let others know – especially those who “hired” you in the past.
Create Promotional Materials. Clearly state your interest and availability on your social profiles and your website. If you have photos and/or video footage, create a video montage showing your abilities.
Nurture Centers of Influence. Consider your colleagues, mentors, and influencers who operate in the space. They don’t directly hire panelists, but they know people who do.
Ask for Referrals. Referral Coach Bill Cates recommends that “the bull’s eye of referrals is to ask for introductions to specific people. People you know that they know. People in other divisions of the company, sister associations, and you ask, ‘How do you feel about introducing me to Laura Jones over at xyz? I would love to meet Laura. From what I can tell, you do similar things. Is that true? If so, could we talk about what that would look like? If you wouldn’t mind doing a little email introduction connection, then I can reach out to them.’ What doesn’t usually work is throwing open the whole universe and saying, ‘Hey, can you think of anyone else who should know about what I do?’”
Be a Sponsor. Sometimes, it’s worthwhile to pay to play. Sponsor the panel to get access to the other panelists and/or the audience. Just ask your meeting organizer if they have a sponsorship program. I’ll bet they do!
For more information about how to moderate a lively & informative leadership panel discussion, check out ourfree 7-part video series on how to moderate a panel and otherresources to help you organize, moderate, or be a panel member.
KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CSP, CPF|Master has been facilitating meaningful conversations between executives and managers to make better decisions and achieve extraordinary results for 25+ years. She's a leading authority on moderating panel discussions and passionate about finding the perfect olive to complement a vodka martini.