December 7, 2022 by Dave Lutz
Photo credit: Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society
For years I’ve been a fan of bringing in more outside voices to make mainstage sessions more valuable and deliver more impact. While keynote speakers can still be a significant attendance driver, I think 2023 is the year to resurrect the industry panel.
What you don’t want to do is go back to the same old playbook — four or five industry experts sitting at an elevated head table. We can and must do better by mixing it up. Next-generation panels will incorporate these design principles:
Here are three formats that incorporate these design principles:
TED Mash-up. Three 15-minute TED presentations from carefully selected industry thought leaders whose content is focused on helping the audience address near-term challenges or opportunities.
Career Journey Mapping. Three or four industry leaders who each took different career pathways. Stories highlighting their unique journey are shared to help the audience develop their own growth plan. (for more guidance on designing the Career Journey Mapping format, read Kristin Arnold’s Powerful Panels post).
Critical Conversations. A skilled facilitator interviews two thought leaders at a time. This happens in three 15-to-20-minute segments. Each segment features a current significant issue for the profession.
What other formats have you used to change up the traditional panel? Are your moderators from industry or professional facilitators?
Adapted from Dave’s Forward Thinking column in PCMA’s Convene. Reprinted with permission of Convene, the magazine of the Professional Convention Management Association. ©2022.
Filed Under: Conference Education, Experience Design, Speaker Coaching
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