Panel discussions are part of most events, but so many lack energy and are just dull. This is frustrating because with the right planning and the right planning and a great interactive engagement solution such as Open Audience, panel discussions can be transformed from being stage-managed and low-energy to being exciting, edgy, and valuable to the panel and participants alike.
1. Be brave, be flexible and use technology
There is a vast array of interactive technologies you can use. However, you will need to do your research, understand what you want to deliver and then find a supplier who will be able to accommodate your needs and expectations.
2. Ask questions at the very beginning
By obtaining delegates' views and opinions, you can find out valuable data which will then help inform the panelists, allowing them to tailor their responses.
3. Know the questions before you ask "Any questions?"
In most events, the usual refrain: "Does anyone have any questions?" comes towards the end of the event. At this stage you will either get no questions at all or the questions do not reflect what has happened before.
By engaging the audience early, the panel and the audiencee can make the best use of Q&A.
4. Check in with the audience during the discussion.
Normal practice would be to ask the audience at the end of the panel, do you accept A or B? But why not try to encourage the panel to engage differently? Ask at the beginning whether the audience is for or against. This will give you a score which clearly showed a majority for one of the arguments.
Interested to know more? Visit OpenAudience's blog here.