You’ve identified your desired slate of D.E.E.P. panelists and now you need to send them a panel discussion invitation by email (or if you’re old school, by postal mail!). To have a comprehensive yet crisp letter, consider including the following elements:
Subject: Panelist Invitation – <Meeting Name and Date>
As the <event title> Meeting Chair, I am pleased to invite you to be a panelist on <date> to discuss <topic>.
<Provide meeting background, objectives, format, and number and demographics of attendees.>
The <meeting/conference/convention> will be held on <day>, <date> at the <location> from <start time> to <end time>. We would like to know if you would like to be a panelist at one of our panel discussions. The panel is scheduled to start at <time> and end at <time>/<will be determined later on>.
As one of <number of panelists> people/experts on the panel, you will be asked to provide some opening remarks for <x> minutes on the topic.
Half of the <x-minute> session is reserved for answering the audience’s questions. The <meeting> Planning Committee will select a panel moderator who will work with you and your fellow panelists to make sure you cover relevant topics that our audience is interested in without overlap.
<Provide additional background on format and demographics of attendees.>
We are pleased to announce that <name/title> will be our keynote speaker from <start time> to <end time> and you are welcome to <stay for the entire day…join me for lunch…..etc.>. <Add any other interesting details here.>
If you are interested, I will send you a copy of <promotional materials and last year’s program> so that you can get a better feel for the event. Please let me know — via return email or by phone <phone number> — whether you are interested in participating on this panel. With your affirmative response, I would also appreciate the following:
You may already know <names and relationship to invitee>. Please feel free to ask them or me if you have questions. I can tell you from personal experience these past <number> years that this is a fulfilling endeavor. The participants really like and need this information, and many of them who have attended in the past have raved about their experience.
I look forward to hearing from you by <date>.
You can find more examples of panelist invitation letters here.
Sample Script for a Panel Discussion
Sample Script for a Virtual Panel Discussion
How to Find D.E.E.P. Panelists
For more information about how to moderate a lively & informative leadership panel discussion, check out our free 7-part video series on how to moderate a panel and other resources to help you organize, moderate, or be a panel member.