A conference organizer recently emailed, “Unfortunately the fact that most people (certainly in our market) don’t have a high regard for panel discussions is one of the main reasons we never do them at our conferences.”
Now that’s a shame.
Because our audience hasn’t had a good experience, we won’t do any panels. Or is it that we don’t do panels because the panel experience isn’t all that stellar?
I see this as a chicken and the egg moment. Which comes first? Which is the cause and which is the effect?
IF (and I emphasize the IF) you can put on a brilliant format for your audience that would duly impress, inform and delight them, would you not want to include that in your program?
I would venture the answer would be yes.
Just because your past panels have been boring, doesn’t mean your future panels have to follow that same path. Dare to be different. Mix it up. Get rid of the draped table. Add some variety.
I know you can do it – even IF the audience doesn’t have a high regard for panels.
For resources on how to make panels better, make sure to check out this knowledge vault which is chock-full of customizable checklists, worksheets, templates, agendas, sample emails, video interviews and webinars with industry icons and professional moderators.
Kristin Arnold, professional panel moderator and high stakes meeting facilitator, shares her best practices for interactive, interesting, and engaging panel presentations. For more resources like this, or to have Kristin moderate your next panel visit the Powerful Panels official website.
Photo by George Milton