So, you're going to comic con.. Well done! I'm sure you'll love it. Today we will give you some tips about how to attend a panel/ Q&A. We have attended multiple panels at multiple conventions. We have quite some experiences. And there are definitely some things to keep in mind.
When you want to get an autograph, photo op or anything else at a convention, you might wonder: How does this work exactly?
Well, that's what we are for! We'll help you through all the steps! If you also want to know more about getting an autograph or a photo op, make sure to check our articles about that as well. Everything you need to know is in there.
But here, we talk about panels! I always love to attend panels and I do it as much as possible at conventions. It gives you an opportunity to ask the actors/ actress/ artist etc a question. But it also gives you the opportunity to just listen to all the questions that are being asked and get to know them a bit better.
Every panel is different and every convention is different. I've seen panels that were just about 1 movie the actor played in. I've also attended panels where the questions where much more personal, where people were dancing and singing! It is what you make of it (and what's allowed of course).
Check out our tips below to make the most out of your panel experience! Here's for starters a nice video of some dancing by Rick Cosnett at his Panel at Arccon.
Panels: What you need to know
Okay! on to the things you have to keep in mind. The very first thing is: Think of a question. As soon as you know you will attend a convention, try to think of question. I always feel like that's the hardest part. I'm not very good at it. I love attending panels. But thinking of a question is hard. Not because I'm afraid to ask. But it's just that, so many things are available on the internet right now. What's a question that I don't know the answer to? But I try to think of a question. Because it's fun to ask a question. It feels great. It's your moment! So I do recommend it. And another reason: Sometimes no one has a question. And then it gets a bit awkward. So it's always nice to have prepared a good question.
A second thing that's important, is the planning. Usually about a eek before the convention, they publish the schedule. Check that out as soon as possible to know which panels you are able to attend and which one might interfere with your other plans (for example getting a photo op). Write the hours down and you'll know what to do at the convention.
And: Check for seats. Make sure to know if you have to sit in a specific area (At some conventions your place is dependent of the pass you bought. And sometimes you even have specific seats.) And in other cases you have to pay for a seat. Just make sure you know what the rules are. And if you can choose your seat: Be sure to be in time for a good spot!!
As soon as you've found a nice place to sit, check out how and where you can ask a question. Do you need to queue? Is someone walking around with the microphone? Especially when it's a big guest and everyone wants to ask a question it's good to be prepared.
And if someone is walking around with a microphone: Try to make eye contact. (Of course just raise your hand when they ask if someone has a question), but during the other questions, try to show that you want to ask a question.
And last but not least: Make some nice pictures! This is your opportunity. An check out if filming is allowed. I always try to film my own questions (Ask someone to film it for me). That is such an awesome memory!
Now I'll show you some examples/ experiences of panels we attended. Below, you can see the question I asked Seth Gilliam at Dutch Comic Con 2016.
And I asked Michael Cudlitz about Southland:
And like I said, sometimes there's also singing and dancing. Check out James Marsters singing:
At Arccon, there was a lot of singing, dancing and laughing. Just check out the highlights below!
Tell us about your panel / Q&A experiences in the comments!