Programming Participant FAQ

How do I become a Soonercon panelist?

There are lots of types of people in the multiverse with a range of knowledge to share. We schedule panelists who have a wide extent of expertise and experiences. This makes our convention diverse and inclusive! Soonercon panelists are a mix of fans, creatives, semi-pros, and pros from SF, academia, media, and many different industries.

You don’t have to be an expert on every detail of the panel topic to be a good panelist. We just ask that you be prepared for the discussion. We are seeking panelists with informed opinions, know-how, and skills to share who like to talk and interact with other people. Soonercon is a networking opportunity for all our members (guests and attendees) and a space for anyone that wants to learn.

How many appearances will I get if selected?
Panelists will be scheduled for one or more appearances depending on their availability and number of slots within the full convention program for us to schedule everyone.
What are my panelist responsibilities?

During planning for Soonercon (starting January 1st):

  • Complete your Programming Panelist Survey when received via email.
  • Review the panel description. This will tell you the game plan for that discussion/activity.
  • Set up your guest profile in our survey with your bio and submit your headshot/business logo. This way, attendees can learn more about you and view your appearance schedule when it is published.
  • Return your survey on time as requested. This is how you get scheduled. No survey = no scheduled appearance.
  • Check your email regularly for communications from Soonercon.
  • Review your proposed schedule, confirm acceptance (or recommend changes), and return response by the due date so we can complete and publish your schedule.
  • Prepare for your panel(s). You will receive your schedule with panel descriptions and notes, as well as your fellow panelist’s contact info in advance of the con.
  • Promote your Soonercon appearance! Share your schedule and guest profile on social media, your blogs and streams, your website(s), plus invite friends to engage with our social media channels for the latest con news.

During your convention appearance:

  • If you can’t make it to a panel you are scheduled to be part of, please notify us as early as possible at the Con HQ desk or via email at programming@soonercon.com.
  • Stay on topic and please follow the moderator’s lead.
  • Don’t invite other people to join you as panelist during the panel. We’ve got the scheduling covered.
  • Do involve the audience.
  • Feel free to bring a copy of your book, promo item, etc. along with your name tent card to the panel to place in front of you at the panelist table. The moderator will introduce you and give you a chance to briefly share about yourself and your work.
  • Soonercon is an all-ages event. Be aware of children in the audience and make sure that your language is appropriate for them. This doesn’t apply to programming items after 6 p.m.
  • Silence your cell phone during the panel.
  • Please check your email regularly for communications from Soonercon and make sure you mark Soonercon and the Future Society of Central OK as safe senders.
What are the moderator’s responsibilities?
  • Review the panel description (before the con for prep and at the intro of the panel during the con).
    • You will be provided the panelists’ contact information to prep ahead of time, if desired.
  • Introduce the panelists.
  • Keep the discussion moving and on topic.
  • Ensure that all panelists are involved and have equal chance to speak.
  • Involve the audience. The audience is excited to contribute, so take questions and comments.
  • End on time. All Soonercon panels are 45 minutes unless otherwise noted. This allows for brief introductions and about 40 minutes of discussion time. Workshops and special events may go longer and their program time will be indicated in program materials and on your schedule.
  • Silence your cell phone during the panel.
  • Check panelist and audience attendance. Include this info on your Moderator Worksheet.
  • Turn in your moderator worksheet(s) by 3 p.m. on Sunday at Con HQ. We appreciate this feedback to improve our programming.
  • If supplies are missing or you need technical assistance, contact the Director of Programming ASAP and a member of the Operations team will be in the panel room shortly to assist you.
How are panels scheduled?

Once confirming your acceptance to appear as a Soonercon panelist guest, you will receive a link to set up your guest profile on our website. You will then receive our Programming Panelist Survey. This survey has all potential Soonercon panel content. We digest this data, throw some magic at it, and make the con schedule happen using these survey results.

Why didn’t I get on a panel I asked for?
  • The panel never made it to the schedule.
  • There was a full roster of panelists assigned to the panel.
    • You may be contacted later, if a panelist drops out or can’t attend the con.
  • You would have been double-booked at that time or running a triple back-to-back schedule (not ideal for anyone trying to enjoy their time at Soonercon).
  • You indicated that you were unavailable during the time the panel was scheduled.
Why am I on a panel I didn’t ask for?

Because we think you will rock this panel! We’ve read your bio, are familiar with your work, and think you’re a rad person who knows some things.

But, if you really hate it, email us and we will replace you on the panel.

Why didn’t my panel/demo/performance/other guest suggestion get on the schedule?
  • We received the idea too late. All new content submissions must be received by March 31 to be considered for that year’s convention program.
  • Too few people signed up to be on it.
  • It was duplicated or too similar to another idea already suggested.
  • We couldn’t figure out what the panel was about. Please be very specific when completing the panel idea and/or guest application forms. More context is always helpful!
  • We just ran out of time slots for scheduling.
  • We received too many suggestions for this year’s event (don’t worry, we save all the ideas for future content use).
When will I be notified if my idea and/or guest application has been accepted?
  • Be sure to monitor the email address you used to submit forms to us as well as other email addresses you indicated in your submission. Also, make sure to mark Soonercon and the Future Society of Central OK as safe senders in your email.
  • You will be notified on submission of the form that your entry was received.
  • The Programming team will reach out via email within a month of receipt of your entry to advise the status of your submission.