I’ve been wondering lately about the placement of panels, specifically when to have a panel discussion inserted into the flow of the program. True enough, panel discussions are an excellent format to bring diverse viewpoints together to have a meaningful conversation and valuable takeaways for the participants. I’ve seen some panels that are placed perfectly where the different elements of the program flow well into each other. Yet I’ve also seen some panels that are clearly wedged in somewhere they don’t belong!
So what is the optimal placement of a panel discussion in the program of a longer meeting, conference, or convention? The answer depends on what the objective is.
Too often, I have seen a meeting organizer assemble a panel and forget to tell the panel moderator where they are in the program – and specifically why they chose a panel format to accomplish that objective. So don’t forget to ask your meeting organizer not only when to have a panel discussion but why they are having that panel discussion at that point in the program!
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.