Stoke the Fire: 35 Questions to Get Your Panel Going

When putting on a panel event, there’s nothing worse than seeing your preparation culminate in deafening silence. Sometimes panelists will just need a few questions to get the conversation started, so we’ve created a handy cheat sheet to get your panel discussion going.

Ben Bradbury, June 18, 2016

Bear in mind that this can be used by facilitators and audience members alike! The best discussions will be fuelled by event attendees, rather than the compere.


  • How has competition in the industry and marketplace evolved over the past ‘X’ years?
  • Is there still room for disruption in the industry?
  • What do you feel is your USP in the market?
  • Do you see marketplace competition being driven from companies based within the country or from overseas?
  • Do big incumbents benefit from the disruption startups can bring to an industry?
  • Do you feel any indirect competitors will enter the market/industry over the coming years?
  • As industry X changes over the next X years do you see more or less businesses operating in it?


  • Is VR going to revolutionise the events industry or is it a passing trend?
  • Does social media at events add to the experience or distract from it?
  • How can we measure ROI on our events?
  • What event technology would consider as standing out from the crowd right now?
  • How useful do you think event technology/event apps are to live events, and are they integral to the industry?
  • What are the keys to overcoming event supplier and logistics challenges?

The Future

  • What trends do you see emerging in this sector in the coming months/years?
  • What do you predict will be the biggest challenges for the industry over the next X months/years?
  • What’s the best piece of advice you would give to someone still at the early stages of their career?
  • Which technology or trend are you most excited about for the coming months?
  • Which companies are going to be the big losers in the next 12 months?

Questions for Thought Leaders

  • What measures have you seen work effectively at addressing workplace diversity challenges?
  • Do you place greater emphasis on working harder or working smarter?
  • Who inspires you?

Panelist’s Company/Product

  • How did you get involved in the industry?
  • What was your background prior to getting where you are today?
  • Why are products like yours important to the industry?
  • How many customers do you currently have, and what kind of market share does that represent?
  • What crucial KPI do you measure business performance on?
  • What are your goals for business growth over the next quarter/year?
  • What are the greatest threats to your business/industry at the moment?
  • How does ‘Topic X’ impact your business?
  • How do you feel the industry has evolved over the past X years? Has it been for the better or worse?


  • Is technology a threat or an opportunity?
  • Which technology could you not live without?
  • With the rise of ‘X Technology’, do you think there will still be a place in the market for your product?
  • As the importance of data grows, how do you see the industry king better use of it?
  • How can we use AI effectively in our industry?
  • Are technology and creativity at odds with each other in the industry, or can they work together to produce a greater result?
  • Which technology has been most transformational for the sector?


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