It’s sad, but true.  No one really thinks about the panel moderator during the marketing and promotion process.  Although the panel moderator is not directly responsible for marketing the program, he or she can certainly help the meeting organizers promote the event and the panel session.

Here are some ways panel moderators can tastefully and effectively assist in the marketing process before the panel session:

  1. Promotional Materials.  Take a look at the event app, promotional materials and website.  At the very least, there should be a catchy title with a summary of what the audience will get out of it.  Panelist and moderator bios are helpful along with their Twitter usernames.  If this information is not there, work with the meeting planners to get it in the program.
  2. Alignment.  Make sure the marketing materials and promotional promises match what you have on the agenda.
  3. Social Media.  Let everyone know about the upcoming wildly interesting panel discussion through social media channels.  Your blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are all great ways to promote your panel ahead of time and to solicit questions from the audience.
  4. Survey.  Create a short web-based survey for the attendees to complete prior to attending the event – perhaps even during the registration process.  Solicit questions and other details that would make the panel discussion truly engaging for them.
  5. Twitter.  Set up a Twitter hashtag to solicit questions ahead of time and from the audience during the event.  (Beware if you have two sessions going on at the same time with fervent Twitterers, you might see some conflicting threads in the Twitter stream.)
  6. Video.  Create a video teaser that explains the objective of the panel and the caliber of the panelists. 
  7. Invite Others.  Send the promotional materials link to clients, potential customers, and those you know who might be interested in attending the panel and/or event.  Encourage your panelists to do likewise.  After you moderate the panel, reach out to them again to let them know how it went.  Share the key points discussed.

Word of Caution: Beware of flagrant self-promotion.  Make it about the event, the session and the audience, and not about you.

Next time you are scheduled to moderate a panel discussion, try these seven tips to help out your meeting organizer, your panelists, and the audience in order to get the most out of your panel discussion.

 

For more resources on how to make meetings, panels, and room sets 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.

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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