How to Be a Panelist

& How it Works

Where to Start?

First, take a look at our Panels, Presentations & More.

You'll get good descriptions of each type of programming we tend to do at Marcon.

Important to Note

We send mass communications for panelists and programming through .  Please make sure this address is in your contacts list so we won’t go to your spam folder AND join the google group if you haven’t already already received communications through it- go to and "ask to join group." If we don’t hit the approve button within a couple days, we may be in an off-cycle- please email a reminder to check for requests to

Marcon's Process for Panels

Panel ideas are solicited from panelists, guests, audience, staff, and anyone, typically starting at the end of the previous convention.

Programming staff curates a large list of panels with fully-formed descriptions for panelists to select from. If topics are missing, they’ll try to fill them in and they’ll combine similar ideas.

Prospective panelists fill out an application including availability and preferences for which panels they would like to be on. Additional presentations can also be suggested at this time.

Programming staff assigns panelists and moderators to panels based on availability, preference, and perspective. Presentations are also reviewed and scheduled.

Any required fees are collected and programming staff submits accepted panelists to registration to print badges etc.

Programming staff sends out the programming grid.


Planning ahead on your panels, especially if you’re the moderator, can help make panels awesome! Consider brief introductions and planning/sharing some questions in advance. Extra credit for reading a couple articles on the subject.

Structure of a Typical Panel

Introductions (~5 minutes)

Read the title and description of the Panel.

Moderator tells the attendees a little bit about themselves, including what credentials you might have in the topic.

Panelists briefly introduce themselves and their interest/credentials in the topic.

Panelist Discussion (~30 minutes)

Ask the Panelists open-ended questions, trying to give each panelist a chance to respond to each question.

Even though the moderator and/or panelists may have developed some semblance of an appropriate progression, feel free to off-road and jump around to questions that feel timely. 

Jot down new questions that arise and insert them when appropriate. 

Panelists can skip questions or ask the moderator to come back after checking in with the other panelists.

Audience questions (~10 minutes)

Conclusions (~5 minutes)

Each panelist shares a brief closing thought- maybe a book/movie/game recommendation or a conclusion or piece of advice.

Thank everyone (panelists and audience) for attending.