Panel Policies and Procedures

Otaku Life at Ohayocon: Ohayocon Panel Policies and Procedures

Ohayocon Panel Programming, known as Otaku Life, has updated and clarified its rules and regulations surrounding panel programming starting in March 2016 for the 2017 and beyond programming years.
This document is a resource for all the policy and procedures for Ohayocon Otaku Life. It details all the expectations and procedures needed to participate in Otaku Life. It also sheds light on our internal policies and procedures to ensure a path for our staff to follow.
It is set up into three parts: Panelists, Panels and Logistics
Part 1: Panelists discusses all the details of what is expected from potential panelists, classification and policies.
Part 2: Panels discusses Panel submissions and the selection process.
Part 3: Logistics discusses the logistics involved with timetables for submissions, technology, check-ins, and convention procedures.
I hope that this document clears up any and all questions as you prepare for the next panel season. I will be referring you back to this document on the site for any and all questions.
As always if you have questions or concerns please feel free to contact those of us in the Panels Department at .
Matt Sucre,
Panel Director (2014 – Present)
Schedule Coordinator

Panel Staff 2017:
Caitie Bolton
Abby Berding


Panelist Eligibility and Expectations

All Otaku Life panelists must be 18 years or older as of the Thursday before Ohayocon starts. Panelists must be good public speakers with interesting, relevant content to the Attendees of Ohayocon, a Japanese Anime and Pop Culture convention.

All panelists must be organized and detailed oriented, as they will be responsible for completing his or her initial application, content check in,  pre-check in, check in, and wrap up paperwork. Panelists must also have good time management to be able to ensure they are able to meet all deadlines before and during con, including a 30 to 60-minute call prior to the panel.

All panelists must be able to keep on schedule and engage and entertain attendees within the allotted time. Panelist must be on time to the start of the panel and need to be able to be ready to begin within the first five minutes of the panel, many times seating will be occurring at the same time and panelists need to be focused and ready to go once completed. He or she must keep on topic and ensure that attendees engaged during the presentation. He or she need to be able to wrap up with in the 5-minute warning provided by Ohayocon staff and be cleaned up with in the 5 minutes needed to clear the room.

All panelists are expected to be professional when dealing with Panels, Ohayocon Staff and Attendees. He or she should be polite in all correspondence and conversation including use of Social Media.

Due to reasonable restrictions, during Panels the panelist is not allowed to demonstrate makeup, physical moves as part of the discussion of the panel. Panelists are also not allowed to make food to distribute as part of a panel. Ohayocon takes bullying seriously and he or she must not engage or allow Attendees to engage in such behavior.

All Panelists should make themselves aware of all the posted rules and regulations for Otaku Life. Failure to abide by any and all posted rules will create additional difficulties for all parties involved. Repeated failures will require separation (cancellation of panel(s)) at the discretion of Ohayocon, especially Panels Staff and its Director.

Panelist Categories

Panel Categories are designed to designate the type of panelists and how they are handled within the Panel Department. Each Category has its own rights and responsibilities as detailed in each section.

Guest Panelist: is an expert who has been invited by Panel Department and Guest Relations. These individuals are brought in to do specific programming and may be doing some things not allowed to other classifications of panelist.

These panelists are coordinated via Scheduling. They receive priority scheduling, will be promoted prior to and at Ohayocon.

Industry Panelist: is a member of the Industry at large who is representing their company to present panels as part of Otaku Life. They are considered a guest of the Director of Panels.

Industry panelists are coordinated via Scheduling. They receive priority scheduling, and will be promoted prior to and at Ohayocon.

Featured Panelist: is a panelist that has been invited by Panel Department to present at Otaku life. They are invited to present popular or theme related panels. Many (but not all) of these panels will be presented as part of The Ohayocon University programming track.

These panelists will present a mix of programming, between panels, special events and roundtables. They will receive a comped badge and priority scheduling. These panels will be announced/scheduled prior to the open call for panels, and promoted prior to and during Ohayocon.

All Featured panelists will receive a letter or digital pdf file that will need to be presented to receive your wristband from Registration. Featured Panelists will then obtain his or her Featured panelists badge from Live Events along with any additional materials distributed by Panel Department staff.

There are a limited number of featured panelists at the pleasure of Panel Department and approved by the Director of Panels.

These panelists are reviewed from prior years or attendance at other events throughout the year. Panelists wishing to be considered may submit a resume and cover letter to Inquiries will be screened by the department and interviews scheduled prior to receiving an official invitation.


NOTE: If you apply for a Featured Panelist and are not accepted we will use your Resume and Cover letter for an open panel position in lieu of a formal application.

 Panelist: participated in the open call to present as part of Otaku Life. These panelists will pay for admission at the time of submission. These panelists may qualify for a refund if all conditions are met and verified (paid up to 30 days after con to allow the CFO to issue an audit prior to payout).

Panelists will go through the pre-registered line at con to obtain his or her wristband, and then will be required to check in at Live Events to obtain a panelist badge and any additional materials distributed by Panel staff.

Panelists may present between one (1) and six (6) panels at con for a total of between one (1) and seven hours (7). Panelists are limited to one (1) two-hour panel or two (2) 90 minute panels. Panelists may submit up to eight (8) applications, with Panels picking the maximum of six (6) from the pool from each applicant or group.

Panels are considered accepted when they receive an approval notification. Panelists have up till the Pre-convention check-in to request a “no fault” cancellation. After that, panels that are cancelled for any reason, short of an act of god, will nullify any potential consideration for compensation. Panels will be audited to ensure they were completed per the terms in the rules to be considered for compensation and or failures.

Panelist Designations

Panels distinguish between professional and amateur panelists/groups to ensure that the set panel limits are maintained and there are no scheduling difficulties because of multiple people submitting for the group.

Important: For the purpose of reimbursement, regardless of status, the group as a whole must meet the reimbursement requirement to obtain refunds.

This means that for each and every panel that your group does, every member of your group must be listed. Your individual members may NOT submit a panel as an individual in addition to being on your panel group. This is vital. You may not submit a panel that splits your group as you open for the potential of having panelists double booked. If this happens, you will forfeit the panel that is double booked and lose the potential time for a refund. Panels does its best to screen for this, but ultimately it is the panelists responsibility to ensure they are following this rule.

Professional or Professional Group

We recognize a professional individual or group as one that uses a “brand” name and/or uses a Web page/Facebook/blog page to support their panels. All panels for this group must be submitted under the professional name for the individual/group. One designated individual can then speak for the group as the Lead Panelist.

As a Professional Group, you must designate your Professional Name. This will be used on the schedule to help us avoid conflicts. This will be used on the schedule in place of a “Lead Panelist” This will avoid confusion for scheduling your panels and ensuring you do not exceed the panel limits. Failure to do so may render your other panels ineligible due to scheduling conflicts.

Amateur or Amateur Group

We recognize an Amateur group as one that does not have a “brand” name and does not maintain a web presence. One designated individual can speak for the group as the Lead Panelist.

Panelist Comp & Refund Policy:

Ohayocon has created explicit rules for comp and refunded badges. Due to issues in past participation and to streamline the administration of comps and refunds, Panel Department is strictly enforcing the following guidelines for Comps and Refunds.

Comp Badges

Guest, Industry, and Featured panelists receive panel badges at the discretion of the Guest Relations and Panels Department. Individuals will receive an invitation letter that will be presented to the Registration auditor/Will Call Registration to receive a badge/ or badges.

Refunded Badges

Panelists who have a minimum of three (3) panels approved are eligible for a refund. Panelists should complete two (2) to six (6) one hour or longer panels, with a minimum of two (2) hours but not to exceed seven (7) hours total for the weekend. He or she may be eligible for a refund as long as they meet all conditions.

EXAMPLE 1: Panelist A has been approved for 4 panels and is scheduled for 4 panels. They complete 4 panels at con. They receive a full refund

EXAMPLE 2: Panelist B has been approved for 3 panels but is only scheduled for 2 panels.  They complete 2 panels at con. They receive a full refund.

EXAMPLE 3: Panelist C has been approved for 4 panels and is scheduled for 4 panels.  They complete 1 panel, the rest are NO SHOW. They DO NOT receive a refund.

Conditions that must be met to receive a refund:
  • Listed on the original panel application
    • If not, must apply to be substituted and approved prior to scheduling
  • Paid the panelist admission
    • Proof of payment will be required (printed copy)
  • Approved for 3 or more panels
    • Should you question if you were officially approved or not, an official paper copy of the approval list will be available for inspection in Panel Operations upon request
  • Complete the pre-con Check in
    • November Check in will give you an opportunity to work with a Mentor to be prepared as well as ask any and all questions before con.
    • December check-in form will be used to prepare your check in information and estimated arrival time
  • Participate in 2 to 6 panels
    • Panels must be scheduled prior to the Monday of con week.
      • Grenadine Schedule is considered the official schedule and will rule in any and all disputes.
      • Should you question if you were officially scheduled or not, an official paper copy of this particular schedule will be available for inspection in Panel Operations upon request
    • Panels may not be canceled for any reason, short of an act of god, to qualify as part of compensation
  • Present and/or participating for 2 to 7 hours of programming.
  • Complete the pre-con Check in
    • Pre-con check-in will be used to prepare your check in information and estimated arrival time
    • Con check in will verify identity, age verification and gather signature
  • Sign off on the count sheet at the conclusion of the panel
  • Completed a Refund application (if requested)

All items must be completed to receive a refund and will be verified by the Board of Directors prior to refunds being issued. This may take 15 to, at most, 30 days. The Board of Directors will issue the refunds in the method of payment.

Panel Admission Assistance Programs

All assistance programs (reviews for hours, volunteering, etc.)  are now null and void. These programs will not be reinstituted in the foreseeable future.

Panel reviews/Volunteering Programs

Panel reviews and or volunteer hours are no longer being accepted to meet the minimum for panel refunds.

Rollover Badges

Since all panelists are required to pay for his or her admission and then be refunded, any and all roll over badges will end with this year. The rollover badges expire with no refund/rollover after this year. All rollover badges after 2017 will be null and void.

Disputes & Conflicts

Panels will take all Panel Conflicts to the Director of the Department for a final decision. All disputes will start with a Live Events or Panels staff member and will then be directed to the Panel Director for resolution. The final decision on these matters will be decided by the Panel Director.

In the rare event that an appeal is appropriate and warranted, the matter will be referred to the Senior Director of Live Events, for review.

Scheduling and Logistics

Panel Department only recognizes the person who is listed as the panel lead on a Panel Application.  The Lead Panelists is considered the leader of the group. We will be working with them in regards to panel scheduling and any conflicts disputes.

Internal Panel Group Disputes:

Ohayocon will not become involved with any internal disputes. If an internal dispute becomes disruptive to the Convention, Panel Department will intercede only to take the matter off the convention floor. This may require Panel Department to cancel or separate (remove) the group involved.

Individual Panelist Concerns & Refunds

Panelists who have individual concerns outside of Scheduling and Logistics may contact to discuss his or her issue.

Panelist Refunds are handled on an individual basis. Please have all documentation showing that you have completed all the terms for a refund ready when you contact us. Please direct those concerns to


Panel Definition

A panel is described as a presentation during the course of an hour’s time that is meant to engage, enlighten and entertain the attendees of Ohayocon as part of the Otaku Life

Types of Programming for Otaku Life


Otaku Life is a forum to share knowledge about many different topics, whether it is talking about the latest games to hit the market; to how to write Haiku; to celebrating a Fandom.

Informational panels can be on topics such as

  • Cosplay: especially Clothing, Props and Make-up
  • Gaming: Recent titles and trends within last 15 years
  • Pop Culture: Recent trends within last 15 years
  • Japanese Culture historical culture or recent trends within last 15 years
  • Anime: Discussing fandoms involving Anime listed on the Top 25 posted from Anime News Network or titles released within the past 15 years
  • Manga: Recent trends within last 15 years
  • Comic Books: Recent trends within last 15 years
  • Fan Fiction: How to’s and trends.


Panels deems any panel that is a performance, gameshow, >80% video clip panel, Talent event as Entertainment. These may be G to 18+ rated. Please make sure pick your material to stick with your designation.

  • Game show: Trivia games for entertainment purposes
  • Talent Event: These are events where the panelist is more of a “Talent” then a presenter and is presented for entertainment purposes.
  • Video Media Event: Events that use video clips or other media as the star of the show for entertainment purposes.
  • Mixed Event: Mix of talent and video

Crafter Space:

Panels looking to expand our Crafter Space program. This is a chance for you to engage your fellow con-goes with make-and-take items, or teaching skills that can be used to enhance Cosplays, prop making, model building techniques, etc.

  • These will be hands on making things
  • Performing simple experiments
  • We prefer things that can be made for little or no cost
  • You can charge less than $10 for supplies only
  • Ohayocon cannot reimburse you for equipment needed for these projects.
  • Please send how to instructions in your panel plan with picture of final product.

Adult Programming:

Panels is welcoming to “adult” themed panels. These panels contain strong language, vulgar humor, discussion of violence, and sexual situations for informational or entertainment purposes.


Panelists are open to have frank discussions of taboo or socially questionable material within reason. We ask that panelists exercise judgment when creating and running these panels.

For the most part, Panels as maintained a “hands off” approach to adult programming with minimal interference from our staff. This is does not allow Panelists to do anything and everything they wish. We have a few guidelines that must be adhered to.

  • We allow
    • Explicit images and videos that are relevant to your presentation
    • Simulations (however, everyone must be fully clothed and only work with models)
  • We do NOT allow
    • Touching an attendee
    • Illegal material or substances
    • Bullying attendees at your panel

If you have questions or concerns regarding what is acceptable, please contact the panels department at

Content disclosure:

Due to concerns raised by Attendees, you will be asked to identify the adult material that you will cover. These tags will be added to your description to ensure attendees are able to decide if they wish to attend.   Failure to disclose a topic can result in your immediate separation from Ohayocon and exclude you from continued participation.

  • Adult language
  • Graphic sexual situations
  • Violence against members of same/opposite sex
  • Taboo Subjects

As a measure of protection for Panelists, Otaku Life, and Ohayocon, all Adult panels will have the following notice published on our website, in the program guide/Grenadine, and outside of your panel:

This is an Adult panel rated 18+. It may contain adult humor, explicit images and strong language. All attendees will show ID or wear an 18+ wristband to verify age before attending this panel.

The views presented are those of the participants and not those of Ohayocon.

Prohibited Panel types

Panels and Otaku Life has deemed the following panels not suitable and will not entertain submissions for the following type of panels.

  • “Ask A Character”: Defined as a group of individuals dress up as characters from a particular show and answer questions as that group of characters.
    • We have had issues with these types of events getting out of hand and becoming a disturbance and so we will no longer allow them.
  • Speed Dating / Speed Friend panels / Matchmaker: defined as a panel where people are put together at random to get to know each other/ develop a relationship.
    • We have had issues where people have complained due activities that occurred in these panels in the past, so we prefer that you make friends by not being put into this type of situation and will not allow them.
  • Burlesque performances: Defined as “adult themed” entertainment featuring live models/entertainers.
    • The Board of Directors has made the decision that these performances do not fit with our convention.
  • Maid/Butler Café: Defined as an event were individuals dress up in cosplay to serve food or other services.
    • Due to contractual obligations we are unable to entertain these events.
    • Note: We have a special agreement to present the “Lolita Crush,” that falls within this contractual obligation.
  • Religious events: Defined as a group of individuals meeting for the purpose of religious rites or activities. Ohayocon respects all religions equally and as such will not promote one religion over another. If you are looking for houses of worship during the weekend, please speak to the hotel concierge to point you to the nearest place of worship.

Restricted Panel types

Panels and Otaku Life has deemed the following panels questionable and will require approval from the Director of Panels before submitting.

  • “Shipping” Panels: Defined as panels where 75% or more of the panel is used to discuss shipping of Anime or other characters.
  • Meet-ups: Defined as allowing a given group of people access to a panel room for the purpose of gathering together as a group with no particular agenda other than hanging out.
    • We have had issues where groups have gotten out of hand and violated other panel rules and becoming a disturbance, as such we no longer allow these events.

Panel Submission Limits

To maintain a fair process and allow for a variety of panels, Otaku Life limits the number of panels and attempts to limit the number per day to allow panelists to enjoy Ohayocon.

Panelists (professional and amateur) are limited to:
  • submit up to 8 applications
  • present up to 6 panels
  • to do 2 panels per day* (In the event of scheduling need Panels/Scheduling may allow 1 day were panelist may do more panels with the balance on another day.)
Ohayocon Panels will:
  • Pick from the 8 panels that are submitted.
  • Use its own method to choose the final 6 for each panelist (i.e. Scores, missing material in schedule, etc.)

Panel Type Limits

To ensure a wide variety of panels during the weekend, Otaku Life places some limits on certain types of panels

Otaku Life will place a maximum limit its Entertainment panels

  • Game shows: 3 per day total of 9
  • Video Clip type events: Max 5 per day total of 15
  • Improve: Total of 3 [Guest version(s) will not count]
  • Performer driven panels: Max 4 per day total of 12
  • Mixed events: Max 5 per day total of 12

Panel Time Breakdown

Panels at Otaku life are scheduled for 1 hour. Allowing for set-up and dismissal, Panels should have between 40-50 minutes of content.

Panels should be similar to this for a standard 60-minute panel


Time Panelist View Attendee View
0:00 – 5:00 Setting up tech Badge Check and Seating
5:00- 40:00 Presentation Presentation
45:00 LE warning paddle 10 minutes

Time to get into final points/questions

50:00 LE warning paddle 5 minutes

Time to wrap up panel

55:00 LE Dismissing Panel

Panelists gather up materials and leave to allow next panel to get ready

Attendees gathering up and leaving

Time Exceptions

Panelists can appeal for an extended panel. Panels is willing to extend a LIMITED number of panels lasting for 90 minutes (1 ½ hours) or a double panel lasting for 120 minutes (2 hours). Exceptions will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Panelists will need to show why additional time is needed with a logical case. Panels will not be extended unless it is reasonable and prudent to do so.

EXAMPLE 1: We are discussing the Works of Hayao Miyazaki and we intend to compare and contrast his 5 most famous works. This topic is good for an extended period, but it can also be edited down to compare contrast one of his earlier works to one of his later works.

To get a true extension there needs to be a very compelling amount of work and material to support that. It is recommended to edit material to fit in the hour block.

EXAMPLE 2: We are going to dress attendees in kimonos to show them the proper way to wear this attire. This can be a one-person demonstration; however, it could also be done with multiple people trying on kimonos.

In that case for the attendee’s comfort, an extended time is required.

EXAMPLE 3: “Because I want it.” -or- “You can’t contain this much awesomeness.”

These NOT Valid reasons and will not be considered.

NOTE: We are not giving additional time for set up or tear down, as it is expected that you can do so in the time allotted. There are exceptions to this in the case of very large scale situations. These items will need to be discussed with the Panel Director and approved by the Sr. Director of Programming. Please contact to begin the process at least 90 days prior to the convention.




Panel Logistics Pre-Con

Prior to Ohayocon, Panels will be working to develop the panel plan for the year. It will begin in March/April were first a review of the current Policies and Procedures is completed. Once completed, Panels takes the months leading up to Ohayocon to plan and organize panels for the convention

Attendee Panel Surveys

During the Period of February through June, Panels participates in gathering Feedback and conducts surveys to determine the direction it wishes to go for the coming panel season.

Surveys are conducted through Google Surveys with the data going to the Panel Department. These surveys are posted to the Official Ohayocon Facebook Group, Ohayocon Forums and when possible the Ohayocon website.

Data from the surveys can be shared with interested Panelists by requesting the information at

Featured Panelist Invitations

Panels will gather recommendations and solicits resumes to be selected as potential Featured Panelists. This process starts in late April and concludes in June with announcements of who our Featured Panelists will be, if any.

With the announcement of our Featured Panelists, we will also announce the panels they will be presenting in advance of open panel call.

Panel Open Call

Otaku Life’s Open Call for Panels will open the beginning of June and close September. The open call will be when Panelists are able to submit an application to be considered.

The application is posted on Ohayocon Website, Official Ohayocon Facebook Group and Ohayocon Forums.

Open Call Application

Open call will be an on-line form using Google Surveys that will collect the following information. This information is used by Panels to make its selection for Ohayocon.

  • Panel Published Information
    • Panel Name
    • Panel Description
    • Rating – G, PG, PG – 13, 18+
    • Track – Informational, Entertainment, Adult Programming or Crafter Space
    • Participants
  • Panel Logistics
    • Panel Overview
      • Topic
      • Point of View
      • Value of panel
      • Interest in the community
    • Panel Plan
      • Panel format
      • Estimated time used
      • Back-up (contingency) plans
    • Panel History
      • New or Previously presented
      • Expertise/Research in topic
      • Conventions attended
      • Approximate Attendance
      • Updates since last presented
    • Supporting Materials
      • Video Link
      • PowerPoint Presentation
    • Development Status
      • Presentation ready or more editing needed
      • Time needed
    • Scheduling
      • Availability
      • Proximate room size
      • Length / request for exemption

At the Close of Open call, Panels will begin review the submissions with updates provided as deemed appropriate by Otaku Life.

Open Call Panels will be scheduled and upon completion of the Otaku Life portion of the Schedule be released publicly.

Steps in Selection /Approval Process

Step 1: Panels will review panels against the selection questionnaire.

Step 2: Panels will create the list of panels that it wants. It will notify panelists of its status moving to “approved.”

Step 3: Panels will conduct a “Pre-Con Check in” with Open Call panelists in November and December to check the status of panels being developed for Ohayocon. These are quick informal talks to see how things are progressing and if there are any questions that need to be discussed prior to the event.

NOTE: The November check-in is optional Guest Panelists and Featured Panelists, but suggested. December check-in is required. (Paperwork and confirmations)

NOTE: All panelists are welcome to participate in an optional October Check-in.

Step 4: Panel formally move to Scheduling. After all Guest Panelist, Industry Panels, and Featured Panelists have been placed, Scheduling looks at what panels match up with time slots available.

Step 5: Schedule Department moves the event data into Grenadine to create the Scheduling Entry. The entry has the Title, Description, individuals involved, Venue, Room, time and duration.

Step 6: Scheduling runs constant reports to identify conflicts between rooms and individuals. If entries are incomplete or contain errors, they may create conflicts that Scheduling will make the final call as to what gets placed where.

Step 7: Scheduling releases a version to Guests, Featured Panelists, and Panelists to identify any issues.

Step 8: Panels will take requests for schedule changes, and turn them over to Scheduling. The two departments will work back and forth to make the best schedule.

Note: Remember you need only 3 approvals for a refund. If not all your panels are scheduled, they are considered wait-listed and may be used in the event of a cancelation before con.

Step 9: Final Schedule is released to the public

Selection Process

Panels will review the Open Call Panels based on the following criteria and questions to determine which panels will be presented at Otaku Life.

  • Eligibility:
    • Panels are not deemed to be on the disqualified list.
    • Panel submissions are complete?
  • Duplication:
    • Panels are not duplicating panels that have already been announced
    • Duplicate Submission by same party will have the last date/time stamped version accepted.
    • In the event 2 parties submit the same panel topic they will be reviewed side by side through the rest of the tests to pick which panel gets scheduled.
  • Panel Proposal:
    • Does the Panel sound fun?
    • Is it a solid concept?
    • Even as entertainment, does it add Value?
  • Panel Plan:
    • What is the topic of the Panel?
    • What is the scope of the Panel?
    • Does the Panel have a clear point of view?
    • Does the Panel Plan make sense for what the Panelists have planned?
    • Does the Panelist demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the topic?
    • How well organized is the Panel Plan/Panelist?
    • Do they have enough material to keep an audience engaged for the period of time requested?
    • What materials are they using? (PowerPoint, etc.)
    • Does the Panelist demonstrate they can keep an audience engaged for the period of time requested?
    • Do I have any concerns with this panel?
    • Do I need to reach out for clarification?

NOTE: Panels may reach out to get clarification at any time via email.

  • Can I see a video of them doing the panel to see for myself?
  • Interest:
    • Have they “sold” me that this panel is a good fit?
    • Does the Description make sense “on its own” and does it match the panel plan?
    • Is the Panel Title/Description engaging?
    • Does this sound like something I would go to?
    • Does this panel line up with the interests of our attendees?
    • Does this panel fit with the Existing Panel Plan/Direction?
    • Has this panel been successful in the past?
  • Scheduling:
    • Can this panel be scheduled without conflict? (Reviews against Availability, Conflict sheet)
    • Can we group this panel with other panels that are similar in nature?
    • Do we have an appropriate room for this panel?

Approvals (Mid/Late September)

Panels will send emails to the Panelists who have been approved. The list of approved panels will be posted on Social Media (Facebook/Twitter/Forums) for all panelists and attendees to review.

Check –in (November/December)

Check in is something new to Ohayocon. It is meant to be a learning tool as you will be working with a seasoned Panelist to act as your Mentor. Much like Tim Gund acts as a mentor to the designers on “Project Runway,” this will work the same way. You will have an opportunity to try out material for your mentor and see what they have to say or get suggestions to ensure that you are ready to present. You are welcome to use the mentor as much or as little as you feel you need.  We do ask that you do at minimum let them know how ready you think you are.

In December for the final check in is in two parts; you will fill in an online form to verify all information is correct and that you are conducting your panel. This is our last confirmation prior to your arrival, this is also the last point that you can have a no fault cancellation.  We use this form for you to prepare for and verify your arrival time in-case of a need for change in scheduling.  You also have an opportunity to have a final look at your panel.

Panelist Schedule Review (Mid November-Early December)

Once the Schedule is available from Scheduling, it will be made available to Panelists for review. This will be done via the Grenadine Scheduling site.

NOTE: The link will be given to Panelists ONLY. You are NOT to share the schedule till Schedules/Panels releases a public schedule.  Due to issues with the 2016 release, we may opt to sever your participation if you are found to release the schedule without authorization.

Requests for Schedule Change

Should an error occur or a schedule change is needed. Panels will collect the changes via an online Google Form and make those results available to Scheduling.

These requests done via the form can be tracked and crosschecked by Panels, and Live Events to try and accommodate all parties involved.

NOTE: Any and all emailed schedule requests will not be honored. This is due to the volume of emails received during this period. Many panelists simply replied to emails and those emails can get buried in the flow with no efficient way to verify that requests were received and reviewed.

IF scheduling wishes to use email at any point. All emails regarding scheduling MUST have the Subject line start with the word “SCHEDULE” in all caps. Scheduling/Panels cannot be responsible for emails that do not follow the required format.

Scheduling will notify Panelists via email on received requests once they are processed. In some cases, Scheduling may need to wait on availability from a different block of rooms. Please be patient.

If Panelists are following schedule changes via the Grenadine Site/App, they are reminded to refresh.

Technical Equipment

Ohayocon will provide each panel room a pre-designed kit consisting of:

  • Projector with a VGA or HDMI connection for computer hook-up
  • Speakers and microphone mixer with a mini (3.5mm/headphone size) phone connection for computer or device audio and 2 (two) microphones.

Ohayocon WILL NOT provide computers, or other specialty equipment for presenters. If you are planning to use any equipment other than the kit described above, you MUST provide it yourself.

If you have specialty equipment OTHER than a computer or audio device, you MUST make arrangements with the Panel Administrator for load in or special help in connecting into the above described kit.

Ohayocon DOES NOT provide VIDEO adapters for Apple Products (MacBook, iPad, etc.) Nooks, Kindle Fire, or tablets. You MUST provide your own specialty adapters.

NOTE: If you choose to use iPads, Kindles or other tablets, we cannot guarantee your presentation. Technical issues may occur since we are working with mostly Standard HDMI connections in the rooms. 

 Technical Services

Ohayocon Tech Services will provide support on the equipment that we provide. We will assist you in connecting and troubleshooting the equipment provided. We cannot troubleshoot your personal equipment or devices, especially for pre-existing conditions.

We do not warranty the use of our equipment when connected to your devices.

Panel Logistics At-Con

Checking In

To ensure Panels and Panelists are ready to go, we ask all participants to follow this process for at con dealings with Panels.


When you arrive at con, you will go to Registration to pick up your pre-reg wristband. You will have already paid for your admission so you will just need to claim your wristband.

Our Guest, Industry and Featured panelists will already have an invitation letter that you need to present to the auditor to receive your wristband.

Once you have received your wrist band proceed to step 2


EVERYONE will go to the designated Live Events Operations room (Knox) to collect his or her panelist badge and personalized schedule (This will be as current as the morning you arrive).

You will

  • Present photo ID
  • Sign for your panelist badge and schedule packets.

From this point you are on your own to enjoy the convention. Please remember that you are responsible for making sure that you have all your materials with you for your panel. The Room of holding has limited hours but is able to accommodate you by storing your materials during their scheduled hours.

Please make sure that you have checked your computer that it is in good working order. If you are not sure if your system is compatible, please stop in to the Live Events Ops confirm the set up in your room. We can try to troubleshoot prior to you going over if at all possible. Please allow some slush time in your panel in – case of unforeseen issues.


30 Minutes to 1 Hour before your panel you will check-in at Knox to let us know you are ready to go.


When you arrive to your panel you will check-in with the Live Events person (purple shirt) and then get ready for your panel.


AS YOU LEAVE, make sure all of your members initial the count sheet so you know how many people attended your panel.

Cancelation/Reschedule Procedure:

To ensure Panel Department, Scheduling and Live Events is serving the Attendees, the following procedures are put in place to manage “no shows,” Cancelations, and Reschedules.

No Show

A “No show” is declared if a Panelist has not arrived after 15 minutes, for the scheduled Panel.

In the event of a suspected “no show” the following will happen.

If a panelist has not checked in 30 minutes before the scheduled slot:

  1. At the 20 to 15-minute mark Panels will call the Lead Panelist to Speak to or leave message/text.
  2. If no response within the 10-minute mark, Panel Department will contact the Panel Room to see if panelist has shown or advise of possible no show status.

If a panelist has not checked in at the room 10-15 minutes before the scheduled slot:

  1. Live Events will seat a Panel at the normal scheduled time.
  2. LE will relay back to Panel Department if a Panelist has not shown up for a scheduled time by 5 minutes after the scheduled start of the panel.
  3. Panel Department will attempt to contact the Lead Panelist.
  4. Panel Department will leave one message/text and then call back within 5 minutes.
  5. If the Panelist does not respond or is still not gotten response from either Panelist or Confirmation from LE the panelist has shown, the Panelist is declared a “no show”
  6. LE will open the panel up for general discussion on the topic if someone wishes to lead the discussion – or – if a staff person is available they will be dispatched to lead the discussion.

IF the Panelist shows up after the “no show” limit, the panel will revert back to the panelist; however, they must be finished at the original end time. Late Panelists MAY NOT go over, even if there is nothing scheduled after them.

Rational: There are planned “blackouts” on rooms to provide time for upkeep and staff breaks. End of day ends are hard ends and NO ONE is able to go over these times.

  1. Panelists will be notified via email that they have a “no show” status and asked for an explanation.
  2. Panelists have 24 hours to respond.

Panels listed as “no show” count against panelists for the purpose of compensation.

  • If a panelist is applying for a refund with a panel listed as “no show” without explanation, it will disqualify the panelist from receiving a refund.
  • If a panelist is applying for a refund with a panel listed as “no show” but has an “act of god” reason (medical event, evacuation, other events within this vein) will be considered by the CFO under recommendation by the Panel Director. The CFO will make the final decision as they validate the application for refund.

Panelist Cancellation Procedure

If a Panelist needs to cancel for illness or for some other reason, he or she needs to contact the Panel Department via email, phone or in person to explain the situation.

Panel Cancellation/Rescheduled Notifications

When a panel is canceled or rescheduled:

  1. Panel Department/Live Events/Guest Relations will advise Schedules that a cancellation/reschedule needs to happen.
  2. Schedules will review the situation and either cancel a panel or select a time for reschedule
  3. Schedules will remove a cancelled panel or reassign the time on the Grenadine app.
  4. Schedules will publish the update
  5. Schedules will print a “Change sheet”
    1. The “change sheet” will be distributed to: Panel Department, Operations, Information Desk 1-4 and Social Media
      1. Information will put a sign up at each location.
    2. Social Media will publish the change to Ohayocon Twitter and Ohayocon Facebook.
    3. Panels will put a sign at the affected Room location

Panel Logistics After Con

Surveys & Feedback

Otaku life will conduct feedback surveys during February and March which you are welcome to request copies of feedback relevant to your participation.

NOTE: Many times there are personal comments attached to feedback surveys and Ohayocon is not responsible for the content of those comments. We understand that some comments may be upsetting; however, all our surveys are blind and we do not collect names or emails. 

Refunded Badges

Panelists who complete four (4) to six (6) one hour or longer panels, with a minimum of four (4) hours but not to exceed seven (7) hours total for the weekend. He or she may be eligible for a refund as long as they meet all conditions. (see conditions detailed in earlier sections.)

Panelists will complete a Panelist Refund Form prior to leaving the Convention. Please make sure you bring a print out of your payment, it will be added to your application and turned over to the CFO for the refund audit and processing.

Please understand once Panels turns over your application at the end of the convention, we are waiting for the process to happen just as you are. We will direct you to the CFO to discuss any and all questions relating to your application for refund.

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