Every once in a while, I hear a drum beat for an end to panels at meetings, conferences and conventions. Many of these commentaries lament that panels are boring and don’t deliver value. True enough….but that’s not the fault of the format – it’s the fault of the people involved. Meeting planners choose a boring topic, a mediocre moderator, and pathetic panelists. When that happens, I lament it too!
Recognizing that panels are ever present in the conference and convention world (in the 2014 Panel Report, 98% of the respondents indicated that they had seen a panel format during a meeting in the past 12 months), the question becomes, “What is the future of the panel discussion?”
In an interview I conducted with Scott Kirsner who wrote a popular HBR blog post on How to Moderate a Panel Like a Pro, Scott said that there are two trends we should watch for: the unpredictability factor and increased audience interaction.
He said, “It’s not a technological future. It’s about about how to serve the audience and integrate them into what happens more.” Watch more of the interview here.
What are you doing to service the audience and integrate them into the discussion?
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.