5 Common Reasons Why Your Panel Was Rejected

You’ve had an idea for a panel for the last few years. This is the year to actually make it happen, so you send it in.

Almost two weeks later, you get a response.

Your panel’s been rejected.

Why? You did everything right, right?

Here are five common reasons why your panel was rejected.

Filmed on my iPhone, I promise the quality will get better soon.

If you have watched the video, here’s a brief in depth response to each reason for rejected panels.

Ran Out of Space

I kid you not, sometimes a convention will receive too many panels, workshops, and demonstration submissions that they will run out of space. For each day of the convention, there are blocked times for events to occur throughout the venue or venues involved.

Some spaces are reserved for large gatherings of 500 – 1,000 seating for Main event, Opening/Closing Ceremonies, and Guest panels.

Some spaces are reserved for smaller gatherings of 50 – 200 seating for panels, workshops, and open floor demonstrations. Not including artist alley and dealers room tables.

Plus, factoring in opening and closing times for each area of the venue does put a lot of constraints on time available. So, keep this in mind the next time you want a late night or early morning event.

Poor Description

It may sound good to you, but try reading it out loud a few times… with other people present.

Descriptions are all a programming director has to go on for your panel as well as a persuasive alibi that you are an expert on said topic. Any misspellings, dropped gaps of logic, and unclear summary of exactly what you will be doing from start to finish can spell doom for a panel.

Take the time to proof read; re-read the rules for the short and long description. If you have one on hand, take a look at last year’s program guide and read some of the panel descriptions.

Copy Cat

Believe it or not, this is a very common trend at most cons.

A staple panelist sends in the same events every year (Swap Meet/Pokemon Live battle/ Cosplay Chess/ AMV League) and people notice when someone else hosts it. Some cons don’t mind it, but lately these copy cat panels are being screened harder.

Just because you think it can be done better, don’t expect Programming to choose you over “Veteran Stan”.

Instead, try borrowing aspects of what you liked and add what you think is missing. And for the love of poke balls, give it a different title.

Wrong Category

I know. I know, sometimes its hard to tell what should go where.

Usually, in the the requirements there is an indicator for how to tell where your panel should go.

Workshops are hands on crafting events, Lectures are speakers giving in-depth analyse of subjects beyond common knowledge, Audience Q&A is getting the crowd involved in discussion topics while presenting in-depth analyse or open floor questioning about a subject, and so on.

If you really are stuck on what category your panel should fall under, look for an email to ask the Programming Department Head directly. Or join the community channels for that con and ask there.

Doesn’t Fit the Genre

I maybe on the far left with this one, because more conventions are starting to follow a mixed media format (Tv, Animation, Comics, Books, Games) rather than a single media format (i.e. Animation Only).

However, for smaller to relatively established cons there will only be one type of media their attendees will consume.

Think of it this way, why on earth would a Star Trek convention accept a panel about light bulbs unless it was related to Star Trek-esque lighting fixtures?

Panels should try to tie back into the audience you plan to share it with. Otherwise, no one is going to be sitting in on what you have to say.

Do you have any other tips or tricks to avoid having a panel rejected? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Where to Find Cheap Eats at Dragon Con

Where to find cheap eats at Dragon Con in less than 10 minutes walk from a hotel.

For a con that draws well over 85,000 attendees both domestic and international, finding a good place to eat can be a challenge.

So, I set out this year with a focus in finding recommendations from locals, veteran attendees and happenstance while wandering between panels.

Here’s a tiny, but mighty list of go-to eateries to try during the next Dragon Con.

Gibney’s Pub

Finding Gibney’s Pub just a two-minute walk from Atlanta Marriot Marquis was a happy accident. My original intentions were to find another Burger Joint but this was a pleasant switch.

A cozy, Irish pub with windows facing the parking garage across the street served up some wallet-friendly dishes. The most expensive dish for the weekend happened to be $20.

I had the shepherd’s pie ($9.95)and a glass of Powerade ($1.45) to wash it down. Added a house salad (lunch special, $4.75) to top it off. Remember to show your D*Con badge for a discount.

My partially devoured Sheppard’s Pie and Salad

The following day, I asked around for other go to places. As I’m also alternating my meals with vegan options, I figured asking some veterans would be great.

Panbury’s Pie Café

Panbury’s pie cafe had vegan-friendly options. However, do read the ingredients as some dishes may contain eggs or dairy. You can find them just a 1 minute walk from the Atlanta Marriot Marquis.

While I did not eat a full lunch here, I did stop in for a cup of coffee ($1.75) and a couple mini pies (per $2.57). The most expensive, one person meal of a pie, a drink and a side would run about $10-12.

Sweet Mini Pies image via Pansbury

Panbury’s specialty pies have won awards for the last few years and with good reason.

If I had to choose a ”must-try” pie, or would be the Spinach and Feta pie and the chicken and bacon pie.

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken was another surprise stumble upon, just another step or so down Peachtree street.

Gus’s Sign image via Google Maps

Despite the name, I actually went out on a limb to try the fried catfish ( the Dinner $6.50) by the piece ($1-2)with a side of okra as suggested by a local.

The crunch of flaky flesh was satisfying for another lunch in. To bad, I didn’t take any pictures of that marvelous dish.

Anytime you find yourself in Atlanta, have a tasty of that soul food.

Publix Supermarket

Then there’s the famously known, but often overlooked grocery store with a mini food court, Publix.

Image via Google Maps

Publix Supermarket at the Plaza Midtown is the equivalent of any Kroger or go-to grocery store for a hot, and ready to carry home meal. Who says, you can’t still cook while on vacation? Also, the Hilton Atlanta offers kitchenette rooms.

This one is a bit further, as in a 9-minute Lyft ride to downtown, however…Still on W. Peachtree Street. You can also order groceries and have them delivered to the hotel, if you wish.

Having the option to make meals is perfect for dietary restrictions.

Amafli Pizza

For lunch time on the third day, Amafli Pizza. Just a minutes walk from the Westin or two blocks down from the Marriot Marquis.

Serving up a variety of pasta, pizzas, seafood and vegan-friendly dishes. The object of my hunger that day, the Calamari Fritti ($13.50).

Image via Almafi’s Pizza

I loved the house-made sauce and seasonings used for this dish.

Pitty Pat’s Porch

Now, we come to the end of the con foodie finds with another Southern Dish at Pitty Pat’s Porch.

Image via Google Maps

Round the corner from the Westin and there you can find the best, old-fashioned cocktails. While I didn’t have time to try an entree, I can say for $11 a large mason jar of mint julep can be yours.

Pitty Pat’s restaurant serves the classic comfort dishes with a slap of Atlanta flare. Just looking at the menu again, the prices may be pushing over $20. The trade off, harty meal, sweet treats and less time waiting to sit down in a two story, house styled restaurant.

Looking at the buffet options alone, it maybe worth a night out and away from the hustle of the con crowd.

And there you have it; Suggested eateries around the Dragon Con that are almost worth the walk.

May this mini-guide help you the next time you’re looking for a good sit down or a brief recharge before that next event.

5 Scary Things about Being a First Time Panelist

Photo by DESIGNECOLOGIST on Unsplash

Pulse Racing.

Palms sweating.

Voice losing moments.

Allow me to share my five scary things that did happen when I was a first-time panelist. It might not be an actual “naked in front of a the class” level of drama, but these things were still the wooorrrsst things to happen my first year.

Panelist 101 Series: Part 1

enlight1

Panelist 101: Part 1, Forge Thy Panel

If you’re like the average con crawler, I’m assuming you are if you found this blog, you probably have entertained the idea of becoming a panelist.

May be you saw a Character Q&A panel and thought, ” I could totally do this better”.

Or was it that one “How to jumpstart your Career” panel that peeked your interest?

Then let me tell you now, planning is half the battle. Actually pulling off a great panel or workshop, is a whole other animal. I would love to show you how to tackle this in a 3 part post of Panelist 101 series.