Enjoying Q&A Panels at Dragon*Con

There are a lot of tracks, guests, and panels to see here at Dragon*Con, and some of the most popular panels are the celebrity guest Q&A panels. Since it can sometimes get a little overwhelming when trying to figure out how and what to ask, we have compiled a handy list of some DOs and don’ts to keep in mind when going to a Q&A panel.

DO ask questions. If you don’t ask, you won’t get an answer, and the guests actually do like the interaction. Really, they do! Just try to remember that they are people too and have feelings.

DON’T take five minutes setting up your question. This isn’t a chat room or a message board. Three pages of exposition to set up your question is way, way too long. Have your question ready when the microphone hits your hand.

DO keep in mind that there are other people who want to ask questions. Keep your queries brief and to the point. Your fellow attendees will thank you for it.

DON’T break up the flow of the panel by offering the guest presents, alcohol, sexual favors, or other sundry gifts. The purpose of the panel is to let multiple people talk to the guests and the guests to address a lot of their fans at once. Try the Walk of Fame for gift-giving goodness!

DO feel free to joke with the guests. Like we said, they’re people too. And a good riff on a trope in their show or books is probably going to pull a chuckle or two.

DON’T try to “zing” or “one-up” the guests. Most of our celebrity guests are actors, and all of them are smart. Remember, a great many of them do improv acting, so attempts to be clever at their expense will boomerang. And even if they don’t, it’s rude. Joke, don’t poke!

Keeping this list in mind will help you and others enjoy the many Q&A panels here at Dragon*Con.

Author of the article

Back for yet another year of hassling celebrities, ogling anime girls and occasionally writing things, Russ Matthews is now fully entrenched in his journeyman tour of the Daily Dragon staff. Russ grew up in the wilds of central Mississippi but has managed to overcome this rather significant limitation. After moving to Atlanta in 2000, Russ immersed himself in his "geek culture" and hasn't looked back since. Besides being a chef, ranconteur, and showman, Russ has been published in several college newspapers that no one has ever heard of, a couple of equally obscure college literary magazines, and is a dedicated LiveJournal writer. Russ cites Ambrose Bierce, Spider Jerusalem, and Peter Jennings as his major journalistic idols.