Panels

CONvergence boasts a diverse collection of panel programming, featuring everything from traditional discussion panels, at which a small collection of knowledgeable members lead a group discussion on a given topic, to performance panels, which can be everything from musical acts to dancing to science lectures!


 Types of Panels

Panels at CONvergence generally fall into one of the following categories:

  • Discussion Panels: Group discussions lead by a panel of knowledgeable members qualified to speak on the topic. The sky is the limit when it comes to panel topics, and their tone can range from very serious to very silly.
  • Activities: Any panel in which the audience is expected to actively participate.
  • Performance Panels: A presentation or a show, including but not limited to musical acts, dancing, comedy, acting, magic, podcasts, demonstrations, and lectures. More information on performance panels can be found on the Musicians/Performers page.

Suggest a PanelConnie as Arthur Dent

Please use the Panel Suggestion form to suggest panels you’d like to see at CONvergence. Be sure to include the following information with your suggestion:

  • Type of panel (Discussion or Performance? See Musicians/Performers for Performance panels.)
  • A title for the Panel.
  • A description of the panel (include both a description up to 254 characters for the schedule and a longer description to help the programming staff understand your proposal.)
  • Any preferences for day and time.
  • What special needs the panel might have, such as A/V requirements.

Suggesting a panel does not automatically mean the panel will be scheduled, or that you will be a panelist on the panel. Those things are dependent on how many panelists express interest during panel sign-ups.

Check out our Panel Scheduling page for more information about panel scheduling and panelist selection. Please contact Programming if you have any further questions about panel scheduling.

Become a Panelist

Anyone can volunteer to be a panelist! There are no prerequisites and you do not have to be an expert on every last detail of the panel topic to be a good panelist. If you have an opinion on something and like to talk to other people about it, you’re qualified to be a CONvergence panelist!

Click here to volunteer as a panelist! Use the drop-down menu to select Panel categories and simply check the panels you’re interested in. Panel sign-ups are by web form only! Please read the entire introduction to ensure you sign up for panels correctly.

Check out our Panelist & Host Info page for more information about becoming a panelist. If you have additional questions or comments, or if something that doesn’t fit in the form (such as telling us your email address changed) please contact Programming.

Become a Panel Moderator

During panel sign-up, you have the option of expressing interest in Moderating panels.

A Panel moderator is someone who:

  • Introduces the panelists.
  • Helps keep the discussion moving and on-topic.
  • Helps ensure that all panelists have a chance to contribute.
  • Helps keep the audience engaged.

While a moderator should be interested in the panel topic, they ideally should not be part of the actual discussion. Moderators should be the “disinterested” third parties. If you find yourself interested in a panel topic, but don’t necessarily have an opinion on it, Moderating the panel is a fantastic way to contribute meaningfully to the discussion!

Check out our Panelist & Host Info page for more information about becoming a moderator. If you have additional questions or comments, or if something that doesn’t fit in the form (such as telling us your email address changed) please contact Programming.

Panel Facilities

We are happy to work with you within the best of our ability to make sure you have everything you need to run a great panel. Here is an overview of the facilities we have available.

  • All programming rooms have a table at the head of the room with seating for five. Tables are on platforms in the larger rooms.
  • CONvergence supplies table tents (nametags) for each panelist.
  • All rooms have microphones and speakers.
  • Many rooms also have stereo speakers, DVD/Blu-Ray player, and provisions for computer hookups (HDMI, DVI, composite, Mini-Display Port, and 30-pin Dock).
  • We also have wireless microphones and a portable powered mic/speaker that can be reserved.
  • Since not all rooms have audio/video equipment, you must tell us that you need A/V when you suggest a panel so that we can take that into consideration when scheduling it.
  • If you need other equipment or setups, let us know at the time the panel is suggested; during con is too late!
  • Unfortunately, we do not have facilities for providing internet access.

Things to Note

  • CONvergence badge is required to be a panelist, so you’ll want to register for CONvergence as soon as possible if you haven’t already.
  • Programming does not waive the registration fee for panelists, regardless of how many panels they are on. Other CONvergence departments may consider programming participation in their decisions.
  • Hours spent as a panelist count as volunteering for the convention, which helps you qualify for nifty volunteer thank you gifts!

Feedback

CONvergence is always trying to improve our panel programming and we appreciate your feedback! If you would like to send us comments on a panel you participated in or attended, please use our Panel Evaluation Form!

Connie reclining