Panels, Presentations & More!


Most of Marcon’s programming is crowd-sourced panels that focus on a particular idea. Panels typically consist of 2-4 panelists who are selected by Marcon Programming staff from the pool of panelist applicants as experts to discuss the topic. A moderator, usually with more limited knowledge, is assigned to introduce the panel, ask questions, and keep the discussion focused. Sometimes the panelists and moderator work ahead to develop some questions together but many times they don’t know each other well until the event. Each panel has a different assortment of voices and perspectives, leading to a wonderful array of extemporaneous ideas on the subject at hand.


Presentations are programming items that an individual or a group is organizing themselves. They could be a canned presentation, a lecture, a panel that an individual is in charge of organizing, workshop, competition, theatrical performance, activity, seminar, a talk, a tour, a long but exciting monologue, etc. Marcon Programming doesn’t provide extra panelists or moderators beyond what the presentation leader has arranged.


Occasionally we will run discussions. Discussions are similar to panels except that instead of panelists, the moderator’s job is to invite the audience to speak to the topic at hand. 


The moderator's role is to keep the discussion moving, ensure that all panelists get sufficient time to speak, solicit comments and questions from the audience, and make sure the panel respects the allotted time. The moderator should not dominate or monopolize the discussion, nor should they dictate the content against the other panelists' wishes. This often means that the moderator has some experience with the topic, but not so much that they are experts unwilling to step back from the discussion in order to showcase the panelists.