Panel Discussion Invitation
Sample Panel Discussion Invitation
June 13, 2022
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Panel Discussion
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Panel Discussion
July 5, 2022

It’s a lovely touch to write and send a thank you letter after a panel discussion.  After all, they have taken the time to prepare some comments and share their expertise with your audience.  If you’re the panel organizer, the least you can do is send a thank you letter to the panel moderator and panelists.  If you’re the panel moderator, consider sending a thank you note to the panelists as well!

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The purpose of a thank you letter is to genuinely express your gratitude for their participation on behalf of the host and the participants. 

Tips for Writing an Effective Thank You Letter

To make your letter meaningful, consider these tips as you write your letter:

  • Description.  Many panelists will use these letters as testimonials or references for additional speaking/panel opportunities.  So start with a brief description of the panel title, conference name (if appropriate), date, location, and size of the audience.
  • Impact.  Describe the overall impact of the panel discussion and the value the overall panel discussion brought to the audience.  Specific.  Don’t send the same letter to each of the panelists.  Take the time to add a noteworthy detail, quote, or insight (or two!) about the contribution they made to the panel discussion.
  • Personal Touch.  Use their name in the salutation (I can’t believe I feel compelled to say that!).  Add a comment about how you felt or what you learned from hosting the event and/or working with them.
  • Tone.  Use a warm and sincere tone – considering your relationship with that person.  If you know them well, you’ll be more informal and colloquial.  If this is the first time you have worked with them, you might want to be more formal.  Just keep your writing style natural for you!
  • End on a Positive Note.  Once again, thank them for their valuable presence and wise words – and don’t forget to actually use those words, “Thank you!” (or some variation).
  • Prompt.  Send your letter, email, or note as soon after the event as you can.  Many prefer to write a draft and then fill in the specifics immediately after the event, so it’s fresh in their mind!

By writing a thank you letter after the panel discussion, you’ll create goodwill with that panelist.  They’ll probably accept your invitation to LinkedIn, maintain contact, and may even lead to more opportunities in the future.  You just never know!

Even if the panel was mediocre, you can always find something good to say – you just may have to dig a bit.

But then again, if it was really awful, you should still send a thank you letter for the panel discussion thanking them for their time.  🙂

Panel Discussion Thank You Example

If you are finding it challenging to write a good thank you letter after a panel discussion, you can use this template with minor edits:

Dear Name;

On behalf of our entire team at [organization], we sincerely appreciate your invaluable contribution as moderator/panelist in our [conference] on [panel title] held on [date] at [hotel/location].

The event was well attended with more than [x] participants and your panel was considered to be [one of the most interesting sessions/the highlight of the conference]!

It seems everyone I talk to/I’ve heard from several participants that they really appreciated [the stories you shared that brought a specific point to light], [the persuasiveness and thoughtfulness of your comments supported by real research…], [your deep yet practical insights into the topic], [your years of research/experience, your depth of understanding of the topic, and your ability to share key concepts and practical ideas in such an interesting way made for one of our best panel discussions EVER!]

[Especially since we picked this topic as it is near and dear to our hearts/organizational goals, your comments were timely and spot on.  I believe we can benefit immediately from…. Many of the participants have been frustrated/at a standstill in the project and now they have some concrete ideas to jumpstart their programs.]

From a personal standpoint, I really appreciated [your sense of humor and unique ability to put the other panelists at ease – without dominating the conversation.  What a skill – I learned so much just watching you navigate the conversation with ease!], [It has been an absolute pleasure working with such a pro.  From the moment we first connected, I knew that you would be the perfect panelist – sharing valuable insights and brilliant takeaways on the topic.  And you have been so easy to work with!]

It was an honor to have you on the panel.  We know your time is precious and we are immensely grateful you were able to carve out some time with us.  Thank you for helping make this [event] a great success and we look forward to [working with you/seeing you] at future events.

Thank you again,

Signature

Name/title (if appropriate)

Related Articles

10 Actions Moderators Can Do AFTER the Panel Discussion is Over

Ways to Thank a Panelist in a Way They Will Appreciate

Sample Panel Discussion Invitation


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.

Photo source

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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