Panelist Information

Please read all the information here.

We adjust our policies every year, so we encourage both new and returning panelists to review the information listed below. This year is especially different, so please read everything. Be aware that the information on this page may change as we continue to plan for a virtual convention.

2021 Panels Submission Form Status: Active
For updates regarding the status of the Panels Submission Form, please follow us on Twitter.

Table of Contents

Policies and Infrastructure
Planning and Submitting a Panel
After Submitting a Panel
At the Convention
Advertising a Panel

Policies and Infrastructure

Panelist Designation and Responsibility

Panels may consist of one or more participants. For the purposes of the Panels Department, the participants hosting a particular panel are either Panels may consist of one or more participants responsible for hosting the panel. For the purposes of the Panels Department, the participants hosting a particular panel are either the “panelist” or an “assistant”. That being said, all participants in a panel are expected to have familiarized themselves with the information and policies listed here.

The individual who initially submits the panel will hereafter be referred to as the official panelist. The official panelist will serve as the sole representative for all discussion, planning, and scheduling with the Panels staff.

Any other co-panelists will hereafter be referred to as assistants. This is regardless of how many participants will be hosting a particular panel, and is not meant to lessen their role nor discourage the involvement of any assistants. This policy is in place to streamline communication with participants since having a designated contact person can help prevent conflicting information.

Industry Panels

If you are part of a company that intends to host an Industry Panel at FanimeCon, please email us directly at panels@fanime.com

Industry badges provided via Professional Registration are not eligible to receive additional badge refunds via the Panels Department.

Badge Refunds for Fan Panelists

Fan panels are an essential part of FanimeCon’s “By Fans, For Fans” philosophy. Attendees who host a Fan Panel are eligible for partial to full refunds for up to two badges*. The refund scale is based on the collective hours of panels hosted:

  • One hour panel = 33% refund for two badges
  • Two hours of panels = 66% refund for two badges
  • Three hours of panels = 100% refund for two badges

Badge refunds for Virtual FanimeCon 2021 will be applied to the 2022 ticket. If you pre-ordered a badge for FanimeCon 2020, this is the same badge. Panelists who only intend to register for virtual FanimeCon 2021, let us know and we will make alternate arrangements.

*These refunds are typically applied to the panelist and one assistant. For further explanation of the refund scale, see the Badges and Refund FAQ.

Badges and Refunds FAQ

Why aren’t panelists provided with discounted badges at the time of purchase?
Answer: Discounts for panelists’ badges were issued in the past, but as of FanimeCon 2015 panelists are issued refunds for the appropriate portion of their badge. This enables panelists to pre-purchase their badges, as well as simplify the application to other events and exhibits.

Do I need to pick up a “panelist” badge in order to host my panel?
Answer: No. Panelists are not issued separate or distinct badges. However, the online process will likely require you to have a badge.

How do badge refunds work?
Answer: With the switch to a virtual convention for FanimeCon 2021 we’ve had to update several of our policies. We are still working on the details for the refund process for this year and will post information as soon as it is finalized.

For reference, in previous years panelists and assistants would fill out a form online, which would be provided to the panelist via e-mail before FanimeCon. One form would be required per badge being refunded, and the panelist would be asked to verify any refund submissions for their assistants. This form would require the refund recipient’s badge information, legal name, email address, and physical address. Panels staff would then confirm and process the refund submissions after the panels in question had been hosted.  

Again, we are working to update our processes for Virtual FanimeCon 2021 and we will provide details as soon as the refund process is finalized.

How do refunds work if I host panels for both 2021 and 2022?
Answer: Reimbursement follows the schedule above, but it is limited to 100% of the badge costs. For example, if someone contributes two hours of panels in 2021 and two hours of panels in 2022, even though that is a total of four hours of panels the reimbursement is capped at 100% of the badge cost.

I would like my available refund to be applied to more than two badges. Can this be done?
Answer: Yes, the refunds can be applied to more than two badges, but the refund percentage per badge will be divided appropriately based on the refund scale, i.e. for three hours of panels, four badges can each receive a 50% refund, rather than two fully refunded badges.

I submitted a panel, but I have an Industry/Press/Dealer badge. Can someone else take advantage of the refunds instead?
Answer: Yes, the refund can be provided to two assistants in lieu of the panelist, at the specific request of the panelist.

When will we get the refunds, and how?
Answer: We are unable to provide an estimate at this time, but refunds will be returned to the method of payment or, in cases of cash or check payments, issued a check via USPS.

What happens if I am approved to host a panel and then it is later canceled? Do I still get my badge refunds?
Answer: If FanimeCon needs to cancel your panel, you are still eligible to receive the badge refunds for the panel that was previously scheduled. If you cancel a panel yourself, you will not receive the badge refunds that you would have been eligible for.

Virtual Panel Rooms

Virtual Panel Rooms will be held in Zoom. The currently planned set up is two Zoom Webinars and two Zoom Meetings. Zoom Webinars only allow the host to be seen.  There is no chat, but it does include a question and answer box. Zoom meetings allow others to be viewed if their webcam is enabled. Chat can be turned on at request of the panelist via the panels application form. 

Panelists can also submit pre-recorded panels. We intend to have both live streamed panels and pre-recorded available for viewing. If you are live streaming a panel, we encourage you to record a version of your panel as a backup and submit it to us just in case there are technical difficulties.

While details are being worked out, we plan to have a testing date before con. 

These are the currently planned panel room capacities.
This may change as we get applications.

          Panels 1: Zoom Webinar, 1000

          Panels 2: Zoom Webinar, 500

          Panels 3: Zoom Webinar, 500

          Panels 4: Zoom Webinar, 100

Planning and Submitting a Panel

Panel Title and Descriptions

All descriptions and titles may be edited for spelling, grammar, and/or punctuation by FanimeCon staff. If your description is edited beyond this, you will be notified via e-mail.

The following character limits will be enforced:

  • Panel Title
    • Will appear on the FanimeCon website
    • 30 character limit, including spaces
  • Website Advert
    • Will appear on the FanimeCon website
    • 500 character limit, including spaces

Please note that the “Panel Content Summary” field on the Panels Submission Form will not be published or publicly shared. This field is for detailing and outlining the content of your panel and is used exclusively by Please note that the “Panel Content Summary” field on the Panels Submission Form will not be published or publicly shared. This field is for detailing and outlining the content of your panel, and is used exclusively by Panels Coordinators for selection and scheduling. There is no character limit for the “Panel Content Summary” field, and specificity is strongly encouraged.

Company/Presenter Listing and Website

By default, the names of fan panelists are not published in any FanimeCon media. Optionally, fan panelists may provide their professional handle, cosplay group, or company name, as well as an accompanying website URL. This will be listed with the link alongside the entry in the online panel listing. If this is not desired, please leave these fields blank.

A company name is required for Industry Panels. An accompanying website URL may be provided, if desired. This will be listed with the link alongside the entry in the online panel listing.

Panel Lengths

Panels are scheduled in hourly blocks, starting at the top of the hour. The content of a panel should end 10 minutes before the end of your assigned block. For example, a two hour panel starting at 12:00 pm should end at 1:50 pm, not at 2:00 pm. The final 10 minutes in the block should be used for the next panelist to set up and provide attendees time to move to other events. In order to keep our schedule on time, panelists must adhere to these time limits. FanimeCon staff stationed in the virtual panel room will issue reminders to the panelists at the conclusion of their allotted time. 

If your panel is intended to be less than the allotted time, such as a Q & A that accompanies a pre-recorded panel, this is acceptable please just let us know. 

More time cannot be provided for panels which start late.

Turnover between panels proceeds as follows:

10:00 am – Panel #1 begins
10:45 am – Panel #1 is issued a 5 minute warning
10:50 am – Panel #1 ends – Panel #2 begins setup
11:00 am – Panel #2 begins      

Panel Age Ratings

If a panel contains content that may be classified as adult material, panelists must inform Panels staff on the Panels Submission Form. Please make sure you enter the correct age rating on the Panels Submission Form. We will be unable to host 18+ panels this year due to the virtual nature of FanimeCon 2021. The ratings are as follows:

  • All Ages – These panels are suitable for all FanimeCon members of any age. Unless otherwise designated by the following ratings, panels are rated “All Ages” by default.
  • 16+ – These panels may contain more swearing and/or slightly more mature content. They may not be recommended for younger audiences. These panels do not require a photo ID for admittance.
  • 18+ – These panels contain mature content unsuitable for younger audiences. Attendees are required to prove they are of at least 18 years of age using a valid government-issued photo ID in order to enter the panel room. The panelist and any assistants must also adhere to this rule. Due to the terms of service of the online platforms used and the difficulty of ID checks, we will unfortunately not be able to host 18+ panels for virtual FanimeCon 2021. 

Panel Approval and Virtual Room Assignment

Panel approvals and room assignments are based on all of the information submitted on the Panels Submission Form. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If you are submitting a pre-recorded panel without plans to hold any sort of live stream, then this information may not apply.  
  • The available time slots are the largest factor in the panel approval process. The more scheduling flexibility a panel has, the higher the chances are that it will be able to fit onto the panels schedule.  
  • The length of a panel plays a significant part in the scheduling process. There is always more flexibility in scheduling one hour panels than two hour panels. If feasible and/or preferable, we recommend dividing longer panels into shorter segments.
  • The Panels Coordinators often receive submissions that are very similar to one another. When several panels of a certain category or topic are up for consideration, priority will be given to panels that are more varied or unique in the presentation or execution of the content. As stated, detail and specificity in the “Panel Content Summary” field is highly encouraged.
  • If submitting multiple panels, please note the order of preference or precedence for each panel in the “Other Notes” field.
  • The earlier a panel is submitted, the earlier the Panels Coordinators can evaluate the submission. Panels are reviewed as they arrive, and scheduling begins within a month of when the Panels Submission Form goes live.
  • The expected audience size heavily influences the room assignments for panels. If your panel has been held at FanimeCon before, please consider the capacity of the room you previously where your panel was previously held in order to approximate your expected audience. For reference, past panel room capacities were: Panels 1- 900 people, Panels 2 – 800 people, Panels 3 – 200 people, and Panels 4 – 200 people.

After Submitting a Panel

Correspondence

Panels staff primarily uses e-mail for most, if not all, communication. For efficiency purposes, all correspondence regarding an individual panel will occur in the respective confirmation e-mail, which lists all submitted panel information.

If time is a major factor, i.e. a scheduling deadline quickly approaching, Panels staff may try to reach you via the phone number provided. If there are any limitations or restrictions regarding this, please indicate so in the “Other Notes” field.

Timeline

1) Verification

When a panel is submitted, you will receive an email requesting verification of the email address you submitted on the form.
Please be sure to verify your email. The Panels Department will not actually receive your submission until it is finalized after you complete the email verification step.
This email should arrive shortly after submission, so please be sure to watch for this email (check the Spam folder, if necessary) and click the verification link.
Once the email is verified, a confirmation email will be generated, listing all the submitted panel information.
Please email panels@fanime.com if either of these emails are not received.

2) Follow-up
The Panels Coordinators will follow up via email to confirm your panel submission was received and review any immediate questions regarding the content. Due to the rush of submissions after the form first goes live, we ask for your understanding and patience if there are delays in this initial contact.

3a) Selection
If your panel is selected, you will receive an email offering you a time slot on the FanimeCon 2021 Panels Schedule if you are holding a live streamed panel. If you are submitting a pre-recorded panel, the email will confirm the panel has been accepted and contain information regarding recording submissions. You will have a limited amount of time to reply to this email and officially accept the offered time slot or pre-recorded panel. The time slot will not be held beyond the listed deadline.
Time slots which are rejected by the panelist will be offered to another panel. If available, an alternative time slot will be offered.
Time slots which are accepted by the panelist will officially book the panel on the FanimeCon 2021 Panels Schedule.
Requests to change the time of a panel after it has been scheduled may result in the panel being completely removed from the schedule.

3b) Rejection
If your panel is slated for rejection, you will receive an email letting you know that the Panels Team has determined that your panel is not eligible for our schedule. If time permits, the panelists may be given the opportunity to make revisions to their submission, but we cannot guarantee this option will be offered.

3c) Waitlist
All submissions received after the aforementioned deadline will immediately be placed on the waitlist. In addition, panels which are not rejected, but cannot be included onto the FanimeCon 2021 Panels Schedule will receive an invitation to the waitlist. Invitations will be sent out within two weeks of the finalization of the Panels Schedule. The waitlist is used to fill any vacancies in the Panels Schedule that arise due to cancellation of other panels.

At the Convention

Virtual Panel Rooms
All virtual panel rooms will be held in Zoom.

Virtual Panelist Lounge
An invite to the Panelist Lounge will be sent to you in an email 3-4 weeks before the convention. We are planning to host the virtual lounge on Discord, with a Zoom meeting room available for tests.

The Panelist Lounge is the base of operations for the Panels Department and a location for panelists to come and check in with us prior to their panels. Panelists are also welcome any time the Lounge is open to come and ask questions. The Lounge is not open to the public.

Panelist Lounge, Hours of Operations

Friday: 4:00 pm – 12:00 am
Saturday: 9:00 am – 12:00 am
Sunday: 9:00 am – 12:00 am

Check In

All panelists are required to check-in at the Panelist Lounge 30-60 minutes prior to the start of their panel. You may send a proxy in your place if you are unable to arrive on time.

If no one checks in for your panel by 30 minutes prior to the panel start time, Panels staff will attempt to contact the panelist using the At-Con phone number provided on the Panels Submission Form. If we are unable to contact you by 15 minutes before the panel start time and no one has checked in, your panel will be canceled. Once a panel cancellation has been communicated to the rest of the convention, this cancellation cannot be rescinded.

During Your Panel

If you have any issues during your panel, please speak to one of the Panels staff stationed in the Virtual Panel Room. They will be able to assist you, or will alert those capable of assisting you, as soon as possible. 

Advertising a Panel

Social Media

All panels will be announced on the FanimeCon Panels Twitter and posted on the FanimeCon Panels Listing.
If you have any further online promotional material, i.e. a video advertisement or professional homepage, please send us a link and we will share it.

Pre-recorded Stage Zero Promo

In the past Panelists have been able to prepare an audio/video presentation to advertise your panel, which would be played on the Stage Zero screen. We do not know if this will be an available option for this year yet. If you wish to prepare such a presentation, let us know. Video presentations must conform to the following restrictions:

  • Length is no more than 30 seconds.
  • File is saved as one of the following formats:
    .mpg, .mpeg, .avi, .mp4
  • File is named in the following format, based on your panel’s time slot:
    [Title][Time][Date][Location]

Have any questions that were not answered here?

Feel free to e-mail us at panels@fanime.com.