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how to promote your panel discussion

You have selected an awesome topic, premise, title, moderator, and panelists for your upcoming panel. Now you need to promote your panel discussion.

1. Write Compelling Promotional Copy

Your promotional copy is the gateway to your panel discussion. It’s the first impression attendees will have, so it needs to be attention-grabbing and persuasive. The tone and style of your copy should align with your event’s branding and the expectations of your audience. By creating compelling and persuasive copy, you’ll increase the likelihood of attracting and engaging attendees for your panel discussion.

  • Start with a Captivating Hook. The opening lines of your promotional copy should pique curiosity and entice readers or viewers to learn more. Consider using:
    • A thought-provoking question related to the panel topic.
    • A surprising statistic or fact that highlights the importance of the discussion.
    • An engaging anecdote that sets the stage for the conversation.
  • Be Clear and Concise. In the digital age, attention spans are short. Keep your copy concise while conveying the essential information. Ensure that it answers the following questions:
    • What is the panel discussion about?
    • Who are the panelists and why are they experts?
    • When and where will the discussion take place?
    • How can attendees participate or register?
  • Highlight Benefits and Takeaways. Make it clear why attending the panel discussion is beneficial. Describe the key takeaways attendees can expect, such as:
    • Gaining insights from industry leaders.
    • Exploring innovative solutions to industry challenges.
    • Networking opportunities with like-minded professionals.
    • The chance to have their questions answered by experts.
  • Use Persuasive Language. Employ persuasive techniques to encourage action. Phrases like “Don’t miss out on…” or “Join us for an unforgettable discussion” can create a sense of urgency and excitement.
  • Incorporate Testimonials. If you have testimonials from previous attendees or endorsements from panelists, include them in your copy. Positive feedback builds credibility and trust.
  • Create a Sense of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Tap into the fear of missing out by emphasizing the exclusivity and uniqueness of the panel discussion. Highlight limited seats or special access for registered attendees.
  • End with a Call to Action (CTA). End your copy with a clear and compelling call to action. Use action-oriented verbs like “Register Now,” “Reserve Your Spot,” or “Join the Conversation.”
  • A/B Testing. Consider running A/B tests on different versions of your copy to determine which resonates most with your target audience. Analyze click-through rates and engagement metrics to refine your approach.

2. Create a Multi-Channel Promotion Strategy

To ensure that your panel discussion reaches a wide audience, use a multi-channel promotion strategy. This approach maximizes exposure and encourages participation. Consider the following channels:

  • Conference Website and App:
    • Create an appealing panel description.
    • Highlight panelists’ credentials.
    • Enable attendees to pre-register for the session.
  • Social Media Marketing:
    • Share teaser content and updates on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
    • Use event-specific hashtags.
    • Hyperlink the panel moderator’s and panelists’ social usernames.
  • Email Campaigns:
    • Send personalized invitations to registered attendees.
    • Include compelling subject lines and visuals.
    • Follow up with reminders as the event approaches.
  • Partner with Sponsors:
    • Collaborate with event sponsors to co-promote the panel.
    • Offer sponsorship opportunities for the panel discussion.
    • Feature sponsors prominently in promotional materials.

3. Create & Post Compelling Multi-Channel Content

Engage your target audience with valuable content related to the panel discussion:

  • Blog Posts, Podcasts, and Articles:
    • Publish blog posts highlighting key discussion points.
    • Share articles from panelists as pre-event reading.
    • Include relevant infographics and visuals.
  • Video Previews:
    • Create short video clips with panelists’ insights.
    • Share teaser videos on social media.
    • Post full-length recordings after the event.
  • Interactive Promotion Tactics:
    • Q&A Sessions:
      • Host live Q&A sessions with panelists on social media.
      • Encourage attendees to submit questions in advance.
    • Polls & Surveys:
      • Conduct polls to gauge interest in panel topics.
      • Collect feedback on preferred discussion formats and questions.
      • Create a short web-based survey to complete prior to attending the event – perhaps even during the registration process.  Solicit questions and other details that would make the panel discussion truly engaging for them.

4. Encourage Your Moderator and Panelists to Promote the Panel Discussion

Ask your panel moderator and panelists to tastefully and effectively assist you in promoting the panel discussion by:

  • Posting on Social Media.  Ask them to share details of the panel discussion on their social media accounts encouraging their followers to attend or watch the event. Have them include the date, time, location, and topic, using relevant event hashtags and tagging the other panelists, the panel moderator, and even the event organizers. 
  • Video.  Create a video teaser that explains the objective of the panel and the caliber of the panelists.
  • Emailing their Network.  Share an example of an email they can send to clients, potential customers, and those who might be interested in attending the panel and/or event. Include a brief description of the topics that will be covered and why it’s important to attend, along with a link to the promotional materials. 
  • Participate in Pre-Event Promotions. Participate in any pre-event promotions such as interviews, podcasts, or articles that can create buzz around the panel discussion.
  • Engage with Attendees.  Encourage them to ask questions or share their thoughts using a specific hashtag.

Note to Panelists: Reinforce the fact that their marketing efforts are to promote the event, the session, and the audience – not themselves, their organization, or a specific product or service.

Incorporating these strategies into your promotion efforts will inform, excite, and motivate your audience to participate in your panel discussion. Effective promotion of your panel discussion will set the stage for a successful and memorable event.

Related Articles

How to Organize a Panel Discussion

How Panel Moderators Can Help Meeting Planners in Event Promotion

How to Promote a Product at a Panel Discussion

Consider Sending a Thank you Letter After the Panel Discussion

For more information about how to moderate a lively & informative panel discussion, check out our free 7-part video series or our other resources to help you organize, moderate, or be a panel member.

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Kristin ArnoldKristin Arnold
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.
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