Panel Submissions are Closed. Please apply next year.

So you want to host a panel…

We consider submissions from everyone over the age of 16. Proposals are evaluated both individually and against similar types of proposals. To help you focus your proposal, here’s a list of items that will really get you noticed.

We like proposals for panels that:

  • Are well-planned and have supporting materials. The proposal is our first glimpse of how you communicate and what you want to do at Izumicon. Make sure it’s well-written and try to include evidence that the panel will be successful. If you can’t include something in the online form (such as a picture), email it to events@izumicon.com (make sure to include your name and the panel name for reference).
  • Are engaging and interactive. We like lectures, too, but a proposal that introduces a creative way to communicate with the audience really catches our eye.
  • Are more than dressing in character and showing up. You can certainly submit “in-character” panels, but we’d like to see more than, “come ask your favorite character a question” in the description. If you have support for your panel going well in the past, such as videos, we’d like to see that, too.
  • Don’t involve physicality. We know that “battle chess” and other such games are super fun, but we don’t have the room or oversight to make sure they run safely, unfortunately.
  • Aren’t speed or blind dates. You can definitely submit a proposal, but please know that we’re pretty strict with planning these sorts of events. We have to make sure that all our guests are comfortable and safe, after all. That being said, Izumicon is a huge gathering of people with interests just like yours – any event could be the place you meet your new best friend!

If you have any other questions about this information or the panelist proposal form, please send an email to events@izumicon.com.

How it Works

Now that you have a few guidelines, here’s a quick rundown of how the process works:

  • You submit your proposal online ON OR BEFORE OCTOBER 1st. 
  • Once your panel has been submitted, you will see a confirmation page that lets you know we have received your panel.
  • Make sure that you can get emails from events@izumicon.com.
  • Your panel will be entered into the decision process.
  • The committee will meet roughly once a month to place proposals in one of three buckets
    • Approved
    • Tentative
    • Denied
  • You’ll be notified of your status via email.
  • During the decision process, we’ll also be in touch with any questions we have about your proposal.

It’s important to note that this process isn’t first-come-first-served. We want to make sure there are a variety of panels at Izumicon. Tentative panels still have a chance of being approved once panel submissions have ended and there is a better understanding of what is available.

FAQ’s

How can I make my proposal more attractive?

There are several tricks for writing good proposals, but here are a few that really make your proposal pop to us:

  • Proofread your work. Use word-processing software to create your write up, and have a knowledgeable friend look it over for you. This is our first look at how you communicate – and communication is key to a successful panel!
  • Take time to really explain your experience and why you’re the best person to run this panel. If you’ve uploaded a video of panels you’ve hosted in the past, give us the link. If you have an online portfolio, give us the link. Take the opportunity to show us how awesome you are.
  • Make sure your content is relevant to the con. The world of fandom is wide and varied… and overlapping. These panels take priority. If there are slots available or we receive an overwhelming amount of proposals, we do allow non-fandom topic panels.

Basically, the more thought and planning you put into your proposal, the better. We should feel confident that you’ve covered all your bases when we read it.

How long until I hear back from you?

  • That depends. You should get a confirmation email within 48 hours of submitting your proposal, but after that, there’s no set timetable. Submissions made over the weekend may have a longer response time.  The decision committee will meet roughly once a month, so communication speed really depends on where in that cycle we receive your proposal. If we get it right after we meet, for example, it could be a month before you hear from us regarding status.Of course, you can always email us with questions or anything else you think we need: events@izumicon.com.

How old do I have to be to host?

  • Our minimum age limit for panelists is 16.

What devices do you support?

  • Currently, we support laptops (PC and Mac) only. We can’t connect a tablet or phone to our system. If you plan to have a digital presentation, make sure you can run it from a laptop.
  • For audio, we have connections that go right into the headphone jack on your laptop. For video, we have standard VGA connections as well as Mac-to-VGA adapters.We currently do not support HDMI connections. If this changes, we will update the “Announcements” section at the top of this page as well as this answer!

I have no idea what kind of connections my device has. What should I do?

  • The best way to be sure we can support you is to take a clear picture of your laptop’s connections and email it to events@izumicon.com.

Will you have internet or WiFi?

Unfortunately, no, we do not have wi-fi available in the events rooms. Please save all files you need for your presentation in a way that you can bring with you, such as on a laptop or USB drive

Do panelists get special rates for badges?

  • 6 Hours or More = Free Badge
    • If you’re on the schedule for 6 hours or more, you’ll get a 3-day badge free of charge.
  • Helpful Hints
    • Keep in mind, panel hours can only count toward one panelist and co-host.
    • Since it’s never certain that all or any your proposals will be accepted, your best bet is to buy your badge as early as possible to maximize your savings.

I bought a badge before I was accepted as a panelist. What can I do?

  • Good question!
      • You can transfer the badge you purchased to someone else and claim your free panelist badge. This way, you can presumably make your money back through selling the badge you already purchased.
      • We can transfer your paid badge to next year and you can claim the free panelist badge this year. This means that you’ll already be set for next year!

How big can my group be?

  • There can be up to 4 panelists for each panel but only one panelist and co-host will receive panel hours toward a badge. Events that require larger groups (such as performances) will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Does everyone in my group need to actually speak?

  • Yes, anyone who is listed as a panelist at Izumicon should contribute in a visible and meaningful way during the panel. For example, someone who is coming to help transport your materials can’t be listed as a group member.

I want to run a contest. Does Izumicon provide prizes?

  • No. We do not have the availability to do that at this time.

Can I charge a fee to cover workshop materials?

  • You certainly can, but make sure it’s prominent in your write up so the attendees know. Also, you will be responsible for collecting the fee yourself at your event.

Can I get another person’s information to contact them about joining their group?

  • Due to privacy concerns, we can’t give out panelist’s information, but we will happily give your information to the other party. They can contact you at that point if they’re interested.

My panel wasn’t accepted. Can I submit another one?

  • Absolutely! A denied proposal is often a really good learning experience.

How do you schedule panels and pick rooms?

  • After the panel has been accepted, we take a look at your preferred schedule and the overall schedule availability to decide when and where your panel will be. We work hard to make sure your event is scheduled during your preferred hours, but sometimes we can’t. You’ll be notified in advance if we can’t make your preferred times. Room selection is done based on panel attendance numbers we’ve been gathering for the past several years. If we find that a certain type of event or specific fandom is super popular, we try to fit it into a larger room. Of course, sometimes, the schedule works out such that only a smaller room is available during your preferred hours. Please don’t take this as a slight to your panel!

If selected, I really can’t host my panel during certain times (I’m a student or working or on staff, for example). What should I do?

  • If you have very specific scheduling needs, just make sure they’re made clear in the proposal.