We’re hoping that this filler post will help you guys out when planning to do a fan panel at a con. As exciting as anime conventions are; both in theory and reality, engineering/doing a fan panel can be both fun and just a tad bit exhausting depending on the subject matter. There’s a lot of planing that goes into making a great panel for fans to enjoy, however if you’re not careful then it can turn into hour-long college lecture without having to take notes. The best fan panels that we’ve had the chance to go to are the Q&A and interactive ones, as those seem like the most popular ones that fans attend. We’re not suggesting that you follow some crazy ‘by-the-book’ formula in order to have a successful panel, but hopefully these tips will make your fan panel a bit more exciting!
Tip #1 – Brainstorm! Figure out what topic of interest are you and your associates (if you plan on having more than one person on your panel) going to talk about. You also have to figure out the type of panel you’ll need in order to accommodate your topic. Is it a Q&A panel? A demonstration panel? These are questions that need to be answered during the brainstorming process before you’re able to move on.
Tip #2 – Research! Find out everything you need to know about your topic; such as ‘What year was the Gothic Lolita trend established?’ And so on and so forth. The last thing you wanna do is host your fan panel but have no idea what the heck you’re talking about! >.<
Tip #3 – Take the Stage! Depending on the type of panel that you’re doing, sometimes it might make the crowd more enthusiastic if you’re enthusiastic as well! When doing a Q&A fan panel or a demonstration workshop, it helps to be engaging with the audience because it will boost the overall morale of the panel itself. Don’t be afraid to have fun with the audience cuz’ you never know, they might even ask you to come back! 🙂
Tip #4 – If you’re doing a Game Show panel, offer prizes! Every game show has prizes for the winner(s) so if you plan on hosting one, be sure to offer them some prizes; such as an anime DVD box set, a free 12-month subscription to Crunchyroll (if you got those kind of connections), or something that’ll be worth while. You don’t have to blow through the rest of your wall scroll budget to get some prizes for your fellow otaku, just keep the winning prize price range between $40-$60 and you should be fine. 😉
Tip #5 – Bring Your Laptop! Depending on the type of panel that you do, nine times outta ten it’ll require a laptop. Panel types like demonstrations and some Q&A’s might require the use of a USB projector, so make sure you ask the staff on what you’ll need before you submit your paperwork for your panel.
Tip #6 – JUST. HAVE. FUN!! Panels are what make anime conventions fun and exciting! So why not have some fun at your own fan panel, right? If the audience sees that you’re having fun at your own panel, then they’re gonna have fun as well.
That will about wrap up this filler post we’ve got here. Fan panels are awesome and they make the con that much more of an enjoyable experience to beginners and veterans alike. If you follow these tips before you plan your next anime con, you’ll be two steps ahead of the game and won’t have anything to worry about!
Stay true, and stay gold! 🙂