How To Plan A Conference Discussion Panel

How To Plan A Conference Discussion Panel

Panel discussions have become a common element of many conferences. However, there are a lot of aspects to be considered to ensure the success of your panel. Get away from the standard and change up your panel by following these expert tips and taking the inspiration for intriguing designs and furniture ideas from photos of actual instances. To make a panel discussion seem effortless, many things require some thought and preparation in advance. These factors will help ensure smooth operation.

People Matter

The choice of guests is crucial. They should possess a unique viewpoint or experience relevant to the theme of the event. It is equally important to have guests that are different from one another. It is essential to have diversity to ensure an engaging conversation and keep the crowd engaged.

"Every person on stage plays some role to play, including your host" suggests John Rogan of Motivational Speakers. They must be actively involved in the process of preparing together with you. For instance, the host must meet with the panelists and offer feedback on the flow of discussion. When the time comes for the event, the host's job is to keep the crowd focused on the guests. Choose a host who has the humility to offer the spotlight to panelists so that they shine.

Identify Your Experts

They key to a successful discussion panel are the thought leaders and experts you bring to the table. These people will be sharing insights that will keep your audiences attention and ensure that they are taking away something valuable from the event.

According to the speaker agency Keynote Speakers, they suggest that you contact experts at least three to five months in advance if you want them to attend your event. Because these people are very busy, you will need to coordinate with them well in advance of your event to ensure they are available.

Moderators (Aka The Chair, Discussant, Or MC)

The choice of a competent moderator is essential for a productive panel discussion. Moderators are responsible for time management as well as making sure that your speakers wander around in tangents or even dominate the conversation. They'll also need to be adept at interrupting speakers over their allotted time and redirecting discussion back to the original point.

However, one moderator may not meet everyone. Perhaps you require an experienced person to make sure everyone is in line or a journalist to inquire about the subject? Also, think about whether the issue is a specialized field requiring prior experience or if a moderator with an impartial viewpoint could benefit. It's up to you; based on the style and significance of your panel, many participants could be involved in arranging and leading the discussion.

Synchronize Before The Event

As the host, you must coordinate with your panelists before the event. Set up a conference call where you will brief your guests on the discussion topics and the structure to ensure that you are together on the same level. Please give them the issues you are planning to address so that they can prepare their comments. Ask them what they'd like to contribute to the debate and what angle they would prefer to take the issue.

It's also crucial to take the time to know the panelists you've chosen. Look beyond their bios to discover what they're pursuing being on your panel and what kind of important messages they're eager to share. This will assist you in creating discussions that are beneficial to all those that are.

Spread The Word

To ensure that the room is filled, it is important to announce that you're holding an event on panels. The best part about panel discussions is that they have an array of experts from the industry to help promote the event - your panelists. As a host, you should begin posting prior to the event to spread the word about your panelists. You can also invite them to follow suit. The more people are involved and engaged, the more social media reach when they share their news.


The final word is that your session is successful when the audience can learn something. Imagine yourself in the shoes of your audience. If your plan is affected by what your audience wants to know, you're on the right path.