Calling all panelists!
The A-Kon Panelist Submission Form is OPEN!
- Sign up to be a 2023 panelist HERE
- Panel applications will be open from February 15th, 2023 to March 15th, 2023.
PANEL SUBMISSION RULES
We offer rooms in the following setups, subject to equipment availability:
- Standard: Presenter table with 2 wired mics, projector w/ HDMI input, row audience seating.
- Active Workshop: Open room with no chairs.
- Arts & Crafts / Classroom-Style: Standard setup PLUS rows of tables and plastic sheeting to contain messes, if necessary.
- Game Show: Standard setup PLUS tables for game show participants.
All panelists MUST fill out an application to be considered for panel space. Filling out an application is not a guarantee of your panel being accepted. Please make sure you take the time to fill out your application with as much detail as you can, as the panel jury will use the information you provide to determine your acceptance.
All panelists requiring badges must be actively presenting the majority of the panel content. We will not issue badges for audience plants or participants. Badge amounts are issued at the discretion of the Programming Team.
Your panel must be safe for both you and your audience. If you have special talents and training in something unique and potentially dangerous, please provide credentials, references, and details with your form along with specifics on how your panel would work. At no time may you put yourself or any member of your audience in danger regardless of their willingness to do so.
Panel rooms will have power available as part of the standard setup.
Panelists MUST arrive at their scheduled panels on time and with enough time to set up.
All panelists, presenters, or helpers must meet the age requirement set by the panel rating to participate.
Panels should be appropriately rated for your content and all presenters should be of proper age for that rating. The following ratings are allowed for panels:
- Everyone (All Ages)
- Everyone 10+ (Ages 10 and up)
- Teen (Ages 13 and up)
- Mature (Ages 17 and up)
- Adult (Ages 18 and up)
PANEL LENGTH AND SETUP
Shorter panels (30 – 60 minutes) are easier to schedule, but longer panels are both allowed and welcome. However, the longer your panel is, the more this may limit scheduling and availability. Additionally, we usually provide 15 minutes for setup and breakdown of each panel. While you may request for more time if needed, we may or may not be able to approve additional time depending on several factors. Please make sure you provide an explanation of why the additional time is needed in your application. If your panel is approved, we will let you know if there are any issues with the requested time.
POINT OF CONTACT PERSON
Each panel must have one point of contact. This will be the person responsible for touching base with the programming staff to check in at the beginning of the panel. This person will also be responsible for keeping in touch with our programming staff and notifying us of any developments which may affect the execution of the panel.
CANCELLATIONS AND NO SHOWS
If you can’t host your panel, please let us know as soon as possible. Life happens! Just let us know!
If you simply do not show up to your panel, your badge will be revoked and you will be put on the naughty list (ineligible to participate in future fan panels).
If you are bringing ANYTHING that plugs in, other than a laptop with an HDMI output, we need to know about it in advance. If we don’t clear you beforehand, it is likely you won’t be able to use the thing and it will RUIN YOUR PANEL FOREVER. 😭
If you need anything from us, besides a microphone, a projector with an HDMI input, and some chairs, please make sure you include it in your application.
NO PYROTECHNICS, NO POWER TOOLS. Just don't.
All venues have their own rules about crafting materials that can be utilized in their rooms. All crafting materials must be cleared with us in advance. It is impossible to list every restriction here, so we’ll just say that if you bring glitter or silly string into our venues, no one will ever find your body.
HAVE MORE QUESTIONS? WE HAVE ANSWERS.
Do us a favor and check this short FAQ to see if we've already covered it before you hit us up.
WHAT KIND OF PANELS DOES A-KON ACCEPT?
We love good content and we don’t discriminate! We love anime content, but it isn’t the only cool thing in the world. If you have something cool, anime content or not, send it our way for the jury to check out!
HOW MANY APPLICANTS ARE ACCEPTED?
That depends on what is submitted! Submitting an application does not guarantee the panel will be accepted. We get more applications each year than we can accept, but we do our best to accept everyone that we are able.
CAN I APPLY TO DO MORE THAN ONE PANEL?
Hell yes! And we encourage you to do so!
WORRIED ABOUT SPACE OR CROWDING?
We've got you covered. We have made significant changes to our map! When you fill out your application, we use the information of your expected number of attendees to place you in the right size room. Please make sure you are providing your best estimate.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET YOUR PANEL ACCEPTED?
Make sure your application is as clear and detailed as possible, and that your schedule availability is as open as possible. The number one reason panelists are declined is that their availability is too limited and we aren’t able to fit the panel in with the rest of the programming schedule. All applications must be completed with accurate and valid information to be considered.
WHEN WILL I KNOW IF I’M ACCEPTED OR REJECTED?
All valid applications will be juried at the same time, once the submission form closes. We will not be able to provide info about the panel application status before the jurying process is complete. All applicants will be notified via email in early April.
WHAT DOES WAITLISTING MEAN?
We get more applications each year than we can accept, and once the panel jury reviews all submissions to ensure variety and quality of content, then we start playing TETRIS to fit everything into the schedule. Being waitlisted doesn't mean we don't like your content, and it doesn't mean you've been rejected. More space often opens up either because the map changes or because someone can't attend. When that happens, we immediately reach out to our waitlisters to fill that space. We use the availability you provide to do this. If you don't want to be waitlisted, please let us know when you apply.
WHAT CRITERIA ARE CONSIDERED WHEN YOU DECIDE WHICH PANELS TO APPROVE?
We look at several factors when deciding which panels are approved; some of these factors include submission date, panelist experience and expertise, topic, type, uniqueness, and quality. Often, we receive several submissions for similar panels, and we may limit how many panels related to a particular title, or panels of a particular type (such as game shows or trivia contests) to ensure that we have a wide variety of offerings. Don’t let that discourage you, though! We love seeing the creative ways that our fans innovate with paneling.
When describing your panel for the Programming Team, please be as descriptive as you can; this is your chance to pitch your panel! We will ask you to explain how you will run the panel, the type of content you will cover, any unique elements, and anything else you want the review team to know. We suggest you write a minimum of 4 to 5 sentences pitching your panel, so that we can get a complete understanding of your proposal. We will also ask you for a short blurb that we will use in the program if your panel is accepted.
There are some types of panels we no longer accept, such as Cosplay in-character Q&A and Truth or Dare style panels.
Finally, we know that as fans, you have particular events that you’ll want to attend. When you submit your panel proposal, you will have the chance to tell us which specific events or times of day you won’t be available to run your panel, as well as the times when you would prefer to run it. We absolutely understand that there is so much to do and see, but please be aware that if your availability is too restrictive, we may not be able to accept your panel – not because it doesn’t meet our criteria, but because we may not be able to schedule you!
HOW DO BADGES WORK?
Panelist badges can be picked up at A-Kon Registration during normal business hours.
Panelists receive a minimum of one guaranteed free pass to A-Kon upon the acceptance of their panel. Additional badges may be granted, at the discretion of the panel jury, based on needs submitted in the application. Additional badge requests are reviewed individually, by applicant, with groups and multiple panel submissions taken into consideration. Please be sure to use the same name, and indicate you are submitting more than one panel if you intend to request more badges.
If an accepted panelist has already purchased a pass, the panelist is eligible to receive a refund for their registration. Panelist refunds are only available on-site at the convention when you pick up your panelist badge and cannot be requested after Sunday of the event. If the panelist has already picked up or received their attendee badge, they must return it to registration in order to receive the refund for it.
HOW DOES PARKING WORK?
Panelists are responsible for their own parking and transportation. A-Kon does not own or control the venue or city parking and cannot guarantee space, so be sure to make arrangements in advance so that you arrive at your panel on time.
DO YOU ACCEPT 18+ PANELS?
Yes, 18+ panels are welcome. Please provide as much detail as you can and make sure you clearly indicate on the form that your panel is 18+. If you aren’t sure if your panel should be rated Adult Only (18+), we use the ESRB rating method to evaluate content. You can find out more information about the ESRB rating system here.
WHERE ARE PANELS BEING HELD THIS YEAR?
All programming will be held on-site at the Irving Convention Center and select locations in the Toyota Music Factory in Irving, TX.
ARE THERE ANY IMPORTANT WAIVERS THAT I SHOULD BE AWARE OF?
We reserve the right to photograph and film content at the event for purposes of its own marketing and advertising. We love our fan panelists, and we enjoy showcasing the amazing work that you all do!
In addition, no part of your panel may consist of acts in violation of any local laws, codes, statues, ordinances, regulations, rules, or any other requirements including building and fire regulations.
All fan panelists agree to maintain a professional, courteous demeanor at all times, and are expected to abide by all event, hotel, venue, and other policies as required by A-Kon. This includes, but is not limited to, our policies on discrimination, sexual harassment, and cosplay.
Also, you may not bring to the venue any material, equipment, or other object which is likely to constitute a hazard of bodily harm to any person, or which is likely to constitute a hazard to property. This includes, but is not limited to, pyrotechnics, illegal firearms, dangerous or corrosive chemicals, or illegal substances. We absolutely realize that all of this may sound a bit extreme, but we want everyone to be safe, to feel safe, and to have a positive experience!
MY QUESTION WASN’T ANSWERED. WHERE CAN I GET ADDITIONAL HELP?
If you have questions or need additional help with your panel or programming, please contact us at email@example.com. If you have questions about anything other than programming, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.