Are you the biggest fan ever of your favorite anime series? Do you have a special talent? Have you accomplished something great, and want to share the lessons you learned while doing it?
If so, it sounds like you'd be a great panelist at AWA this year.
Great question! At its core, a panel is really a moderated discussion, usually hosted by a panel of people (hence, the name) who are informed experts on the discussion topic. At AWA, we love to see fans running panels about anything to do with anime, manga, or Japanese culture.
A panel doesn't have to be all discussion, either. The most successful panelists often perform demonstrations of their craft (great for cosplay or art panels!), bring visual aids, and engage their audience with group activities.
You don't have to be a famous authority or a professional industry insider to run successful panel—you just have to be someone with enthusiasm and the drive to share knowledge with others.
Complete the these steps to start to process rolling:
And that's all you need to do to submit your idea.
I typically confirm that I've received your proposals and send any immediate questions I have within two or three days of your submission. After that, I collect all the panelist proposals I've received and present them to the selection committee during our (usually) monthly meetings. Depending on when I receive your submission, you may hear from me in a few days or several weeks.
After the selection committee weighs in, I'll get back to you with follow-up questions and status updates.
Panelist selection is not made entirely on a first-come-first-served basis. Panels that deal specifically with anime/Japanese culture will most likely take precedence over those that don't, regardless of when the proposals were submitted.
Please understand that submitting a proposal does not guarantee that your panel will be placed on the schedule. There are many different considerations that go into scheduling panels for a large show, and sadly, we tend to run out of room on the schedule before we run out of those eager to become panelists.