At every corporate event, there are multiple avenues you can take to present information to your attendees.
While large General Sessions are excellent for stating your mission and providing your overarching message, they aren't the most effective for generating an intimate connection with the audience.
Panel discussions are a solution to providing different perspectives and allow for a timely discussion that engages the audience. Try incorporating a panel at your next corporate event and allows attendees to hear from experts in the field who are engage in effective communication and collaboration with one another. Chances are high that you will be an increased level of engagement and your company will play an integral role in fostering cross-collaboration, healthy conversation, and innovative ideas.
If your event is virtual, or offering a hybrid style of attendance, panels are excellent for enticing the audience to be active participants and be able to engage with your panelists. Virtual platforms such as Zoom, Teams, and other streaming platforms have come a long way in being conducive to these types of conversations.
With recent updates that streaming platforms have made, your company has the ability to monitor, interact, call-out, and reference certain attendees, comments made via chat, meeting boards, and so on.
Offer timely feedback
Allows for an authentic connection between the presenters and the audience
The audience values your voice - don't second guess that. They chose to attend a program with you because they want to hear from you. Look at your panel discussion as more than just a period of time in which you comment on certain topics. Use your captive audience to your advantage and learn from them - gather feedback, propose questions, consider a fresh idea - you have the opportunity to learn as much from them as they do from you.
In addition, this type of session fosters a very intellectual Q&A component that creates an intimacy between the audience and presenters. Your time is of value and your audience knows that - they want to hear your thoughts from the mind that inspired them. Give attendees your authentic self...it will ultimately lead to success.
Grabs the audience's attention
Promote interpersonal collaboration
Provide multiple perspectives
Fosters an open dialogue
In such a digital age, the constant connection we have to our phones, the media, and social platforms, we have the power of access to information. Audience members of panel discussions have the power to use their device as a resource during a panel session. It is a tool that can be used to network, connect, and further investigate an individual, topic of discussion, area of interest, or gain insight into a certain field.
For example, an attendee has the ability to connect with a member of a panel discussion through LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, etc. while simultaneously hearing their thoughts and opinions in real time. There is power in the instantaneous.
Aside from the attendee benefits, the panel members themselves are able to generate a buzz about their area of study, expertise, brand, company, mission, goals, thoughts, opinions, and on and on and on...
Panelists should not be afraid to promote themselves while being a presenter on a panel. Reference your work, share your insight - knowledge is power so take advantage of the captive audience that is sitting before you.
In an article published in Forbes, Kamales Lardi of Lardi & Partner Consulting GmbH, says "The true value of social media platforms comes from continuous engagement and the conversion of followers to customers for acquisition."