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Guest Speaker panels are quickly becoming a staple part of the event world, especially at conventions, conferences and expos. They can be a great way of getting people to your event who may not initially have attended. They can also be a lot of fun, and it makes for an entertaining way of opening up a conversation topic with your audience. However, with so many differing opinions and options, how do you get the split right?

Have a Headline Name For Your Event

Not everyone on your panel has to be a celebrity Rockstar, but making sure there’s a strong Guest Speaker to draw in attendees is important. If you’re having a panel within the film industry. For instance, having someone from the main cast is a surefire way to draw in people who may not have taken notice of the panel initially. This can also be helpful for giving other people, who may have less of an audience a chance to step into the spotlight and earn some exposure with a bigger audience.

Ryan Hand is available to hire as a Guest Speaker for Corporate Events in the UK and Internationally.
Guest speaker Ryan Hand.

Be Inclusive With Your Keynote Speakers

Making sure your panel is a strong mix of people is essential to a solid talk. If everyone is from the same company, background or mindset, it can make for a pretty one-sided discussion. Making sure there are speakers from all walks of life allows new angles on your topic of choice, allowing your audience to connect and learn from people they may not have initially had a chance to talk with.

Have Differing Opinions Amongst The Panel

Although it’s great to get together and celebrate a subject or topic that you and your team may love dearly, it’s always worth getting varied opinions to allow your audience to learn something that may not have already known. Of course, people on both sides of any conversation can get incredibly passionate, and sometimes quite heated when it comes to their point of view. Making sure everyone understands the rulebook before the conversation begins is key to a level headed event.

Xero staff applauding Xero CEO Steve Vamos who spoke on stage at the 2019 Xero Conference we organised in Milton Keynes.
Xero staff applauding CEO Steve Vamos who spoke on stage at the 2019 Xero Conference we organised in Milton Keynes.

Make Sure There’s a Moderator

Although it’s great to have big, open forums of discussion with a wealth of different ideas and opinions, it can be chaos if it’s not kept in check. This is no fun for the audience, nor for the speakers. Making sure you have a level headed moderator whose role it is to filter the questions and steady the floodgates during hot topics can stop your panel from devolving into chaos. A little bit of charisma can also keep your audience engaged and your guest speakers inline in the rare instance that tempers start to flare.

Getting the panel right for your conference can very easily turn it into an event highlight, as it gives attendees the opportunity to discuss topics with keynote speakers they may well look up to or take an interest in. It can also make for great promotional content after the fact, as well worded answers from your panel can be turned easily into content for social media and blogs, making it incredibly valuable to get your panel perfect every time.

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