Panel events are widely used across the globe and throughout history. These panel events in the format of business seminars, academic conferences, and wide conventions play a big role in experts to tackle their own industry matters. The success of such events are mainly based on how the panelist will handle it.
While these panel events are being widely used, it does not mean that it is easy to establish. Initiating a panel event requires a lot of work on the part of its organizing team.
In the wake of technological advancements, these panel events can also be held online and it can offer less work than in-person events. Basically a panel event requires an organizing team, this includes the moderator or the speaker, panelists, and other experts of some fields that can help to establish a specific panel discussion.
The most important role to achieve a successful panel discussion is the panelists. Panelists provide questions and clarifications after the speaker’s lecture.
This might sound simple but being a panelist isn’t always easy especially for first-timers; it requires so much courage and wit to portray this role. First-timers might run into some problems such as speech anxiety, and common rookie mistakes.
While these mistakes are inevitable, the following strategies can provide big help.
TWO WORDS: BE PREPARED
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Expecting a positive outcome relies on how well you’re familiar with your audience. Putting their preference into your consideration of making your content perhaps is the wisest thing you may do.
Consider crafting content that will be suitable for your targeted audience. You may consider thinking of how large and prestigious will be the event you are going to initiate whether online or in-person event.
If you are likely to host a panel discussion in large-scale events such as business seminars, big industry experts might be your primary audience so it is a must to have your content complying to the level of how experts think.
While audiences in a small event are most likely beginners you have to make your content brief and concise. To make it interesting, you can add up some fun elements, games, and quizzes.
STRATEGIZE YOUR MAIN QUESTIONS AND PLAN FOR RELATED QUESTIONS
For old-timer panelists, it is unlikely to prepare questions and some details before the event, but if you are just getting started or a first-timer you have to prepare all the details prior. Preparing for questions you may throw to an organizer or a speaker is the first thing you can do.
The questions you may be giving to an organizer or speaker might give you credits and be the voices of timid audience thus have it crafted properly. Here are some strategies in crafting wise questions.
1. You should make brief and concise questions
2. Make a set of main questions and follow up questions
3. Your main and follow up questions must be relevant
4. Make comprehensible questions
CURATE YOUR CONTENT
An organized and systematic set up of your manuscripts (content) will most likely produce positive outcomes. As virtual events are completely useful for hosting panel discussions, organizers and planners have most of their time to brainstorm what are the best possible contents would be.
Content is the backbone of your event so you have to perform ways that will keep your audience interested even if your event is beyond the reach of reality. Here are some strategies to make compact and meaningful content.
DO CONTENT AUDIT
In assessing your content, try to visit other content selections and see if your content would be flexible in various formats. You should consider adding accessible various formats on the same plane with your virtual event.
This strategy will extend information through various platforms resulting in the wider influence of your content. The Internet is the most beneficial tool you can use, so go and dig some other content that would be able to help you campaign your event.
CHECK FOR CONTENT GAPS
Making content for your discussion isn’t always perfect at first try so you might consider dividing the workloads by establishing committees to fill up the gaps and to strengthen the points of your contents and. The following steps can help you get going.
- Make a research committee for content creation
- Always check up for your goals
- Identify content contributors
- Develop content that is accessible to various platforms
- Develop a content that is convertible to various formats
STRUCTURE YOUR DELIVERY
In addressing the speaker and the audience, you have to know some proper etiquette of delivering your inquiries and suggestions. The following suggestions will likely to help
- If you have inquiries, find the right timing to enter your questions; you should not carelessly throw your questions just because you find it so interesting to ask.
- Be professional
- Don’t ask too long questions
- Limit the number of questions, give other panelists the chance to talk
- Filter your questions and make it relevant
- Be open to a healthy dialogue
The more you have these proper etiquettes the more people will value you as a professional panelist.
STRATEGIZE HOW TO GET PEOPLE TO THE EVENT
Utilize social media posts and create a sense of urgency
Get some gadgets and use your social media platforms to promote your upcoming events. Message your followers with pretty compelling messages and make some features that will attract more of them.
Create good pub mats with vibrant colors that will satisfy the curiosity of your possible attendees. You can add some sense of excitement by adding some game features.
CREATE A SENSE OF EXCITEMENT AND RELEVANCY
You can reveal a gist of your presentation as well as your “behind” the scenes” moments. A countdown poster is a good idea too!
Give them a small tour of your video preparations and as well as the people who are part of the making. These will surely add to the excitements of your audience.
CREATE A VIDEO TO CAPTURE PEOPLE
A video teaser as well as video promotions from media influencers will be a great help to entice more audiences. You can also use your creativity in doing compelling messages that will attract attendees.
COMMUNICATE WITH THE MODERATOR OR ORGANIZER.
You surely want to be familiar with what event you will be attending. Therefore, it is necessary to have a connection with the organizer or even the moderator.
Having the knowledge of your event can help you to familiarize all information that can help you to perform better as well as the foreseeing of the possible dos and don’ts during the event.
BE ON TOP OF THE GAME
BREAK THE FOURTH WALL
In doing large-scale events, you always have to consider your audience. Your content must be based on their interest and you must address them properly.
Come to think of creative ideas that can help you make your audience appreciate your actions. If you are to host a virtual event, you can put up some games and fun elements in your event but remember that these features are only add ons you must focus on giving information to your audience.
You can embed links and other websites alongside with your event to help you broaden your content. A dialogue between you and your audience is the best reason for you to get going, but sometimes your audience might be distracted by other things such as their mobile phones, talking, and while others might fell asleep.
These scenarios can impede you from achieving a successful panel discussion. While these can be stressful, you can actually put up some strategies to stop these from happening.
You can establish an interactive lecture by asking them show-off hand questions to keep them in track to your event. At the end of the day having a healthy dialogue between you and your listeners can actually open new doors of discovery that can benefit both sides.
UNDERSTAND WHO YOU’RE WITH
You have to know better your co-panelists to have a better knowledge of their perspectives. You can read their experiences and you also can go through their background.
This will help to minimize the conflict during an event in case of disagreement between the panelists.
KNOW WHERE YOU NEED TO BE
When having a speech, your position while talking must be considered. Hosting a virtual event is much more difficult than having a discussion in-person in terms of choosing the right position.
To keep a vivid image in your video presentation, you must situate on a place where a well light source is available. You can sit or talk on the right side having your whiteboard on the left side and you can do it the other way.
Just remember to stay still on one side to avoid messy presentation and to prevent yourself from blocking what you are about to write. Having an in-person conference means actual audiences and actual people are in your range of sight and this can be a fear of anyone who’ll talk at the center.
Before anything else, check all the technicals and all the necessary things that are involved in your presentation. Keep your audience more interested in your talk by having good posture good eye contact. Consider the lighting and the position where you will be sitting.
Keeping this in mind will set your conference to success.
HOLD YOUR AUDIENCES’ ATTENTION
Always keep in mind that authentic information is what your audience wants you to offer to them. There must not have a place for fake news in your content and it must be sided by further researches. These strategies can make your audience keep interested in your speech.
ASK INTERESTING QUESTIONS BOTH FOR THE SPEAKER AND THE AUDIENCE
To keep your audience focused, satisfy them with mind-blowing trivia attached with some credible sources. Offer them relevant and comprehensible questions and give them a chance to open up their suggestions and commentaries.
SHOW THAT YOU DID YOUR RESEARCH
Mere talk doesn’t always work for your audience, present some credible studies that can support your claims. While giving them credible sources for your claims at the same time you are also teaching them the importance of using reliable sources.
UTILIZE RECORDED VIDEOS OR PRESENTATIONS
As a speaker, you might not want to engage in a live presentation so edited presentation is a choice for you. You can record your video presentation. The advantages of this are that you can manipulate how long your presentation would be and you can edit some features of it as well.
Being a panel member is a hard job to fulfill. You must have the versatility in terms of throwing questions and suggestions.
In addressing the speaker you must not just comply with what they are telling, you have to be vigilant, and don’t be afraid to oppose them whenever you have the reason to dissent. At the same time, you must not address them with animosity and unprofessional behavior.
MAKE SURE IT’S ALSO RUNNING ONLINE
Since social media platforms are on the verge of its popularity, you can use this opportunity to run your discussion online.
GO LIVE OR GO HOME
Live streaming can offer more convenience to your audience. Recorded presentations are great but making it live will offer more benefits.
Going live helps you interact with your audience and you can answer their questions right away. You also have to grab the opportunity of a Facebook algorithm where it prioritizes live demos than pre-recorded ones.
POSTS OR TWEETS UPDATES FOR YOUR ONLINE AUDIENCES
In your ongoing discussion posting updates regarding your event is a good start to keep your audience in track to your event. Let them know what will be your future contents.
You can have cliff-hanging features that will make your audience crave. You can tweet directly from your panels by giving them a video gist behind the stage moments. You can make use of the hashtags to amplify your online posts.
ENCOURAGE PEOPLE ONLINE TO SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES
People’s advocacies can yield great help to leverage your future events. Encouraging them to share their experiences and to advocate your event might increase your attendees at future conferences.
You should encourage people to share their insights that can add up to your panel questions; in this degree, you can have great interaction with them as well.
STICK AROUND FOR QUESTIONS
There are people that might not be satisfied with your explanations due to some reasons and they might want to talk to you after the discussion. It is a nice way to entertain them and give them what they deserve to know.
If there are inquiries that require a long explanation you might address them further by an email or call.
SHARE YOUR EVENT TAKEAWAYS
There are many ways to leverage the value of your event using social media platforms. After your event, you may give a brief recap regarding the content.
You can also add up the things that you have learned as well as your realizations, by this you can add value to your posts. In giving your takeaways you have to focus on insights that are likely to be relevant to your audience.
You have to keep in mind that the good impressions from your audience will boost the value of your post.
Panel events can be this stressful but who cares? They’re all worth it to give it a try.
And besides, this long journey of making panel discussions will most likely benefit you and the people around you. You can make meet new people too and that’s undeniably a good thing.
Don’t be afraid to try things! Just come along, practice and everything will follow.
THE SMART SOLUTION
Panels events can be stressful and nerve-wracking sometimes, but with the help of online tools and platforms, it will be an easy task for you.
Aside from creating a solid set of questions and a game plan, you also need to have a reliable platform to host your virtual panel event.
JetWebinar’s seamless and high-quality webinar platform will help you achieve your successful virtual events. It can host small to large scale webinars with limitless attendees without changing the quality of your stream.
With its technology, your stream or webinar will be downloaded directly to the cloud and will be available to any type of device. There’s no need to download bulky apps or software, everything you need is just a click away.
Ready to host your virtual panel event? Click here.