Best Practices for Submitting and Presenting Panels

What Happens in Vegas: Executing successful sessions

Make your panel your own. Engage your audience, have someone include visual elements, make each presentation dynamic and new, interact with your audience through polls or live tweets.  Ask yourself if your panel would pass the “Gong Show” test.

Watch the clock.  BEA panels are now 1 HOUR in length.  (They were previously 1 hour and 15 minutes.)  That means that with a typical panel of 4, each panelist gets 10-12 minutes each, leaving 12-20 minutes for intros, a respondent if you have one and Q&A.  The moderator and panelists should all be considerate of the time.

Be mindful of your surroundings.  If your presentation includes video, try to avoid clips with sudden volume increases. The Westgate (and BEA staff) try to address sound bleed issues, but it’s a tough battle.  Any help is appreciated.

More than just a pretty….panel.   If you are looking for ideas that extend beyond the traditional panel – bring it on.  While traditional panels work best in many cases, both traditional research and creative scholarship can be presented in new and clever ways.  Feel free to talk to division leadership or BEA staff about speakers and panel ideas or share your ideas for feedback by using #BEApanel_ideas.

Don’t forget to diversify. If you need new blood to round out your team, post to our “Seeking” board on Facebook – the site will connect you with panelists to recruit if you find yourself in need of diversification.  You can ALWAYS get in touch with interest division chairs or BEA staff for suggestions on educators, students, or industry professionals.

BEA’s Best Practices for Convention Program Submissions

Diversify your session. Please make every effort possible to provide diverse representation on your panel.  Sessions that offer a variety of schools, perspectives, and varieties provide more value.  If a panel is specific to a school program, diversity can be in the form of a professor, advisor, facilitator, or student.  Don’t forget to utilize our “Seeking” board on Facebook if you are in need of a panel to join or a panelist to recruit.

No repeats. If you have a topic or session that lends itself to a multi-year convention appearance, consider changing it up each year.  Introduce new speakers, a different focus, and specify issues unique to the topic in the current year.

Include industry professionals. Getting the input of industry professionals always seems to score points with your audience.  Whether your session is based on theory or creative scholarship, take advantage of BEA’s co-location with the NAB Show and invite industry professionals to have a seat on your panel.  If you need suggestions email interest division leadership, BEA staff of board members for ideas and contacts.


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