Submission Guidelines for a Panel

We welcome proposals for conference panel sessions. Panels submitted to the conference, if accepted, are most often held as “Parallel Panels” which take place Sunday afternoon through Tuesday evening in parallel with research presentation sessions. Occasionally, a Track Chair may accept a panel for their Saturday or Sunday morning programming.  

Please review the guidelines below and contact the SMS Executive Office with any additional questions. 

Panel Session Overview 

An SMS Conference panel session consists of a conversation between 3-6 panelists with different perspectives to exchange views on a relevant and current topic, often with one of the panelists serving as facilitator of the discussion and session chair. Audience members can be involved in the discussion as well. 

 Panel Submission Instructions and Requirements 

  • Panels must be no less than 70% discussion-based (including discussant-moderator Q&A, conversation between panelists, or audience Q&A). Proposal submitters must demonstrate this by including a proposed panel agenda for the 75-minute session in their submission document. Proposals for panel sessions that fail to provide an agenda or appear to be a collection of presentations, resembling a Paper session, risk desk-rejection. 
  • Panels are the primary session format through which SMS conferences engage practitioners. Therefore, Track Chairs will give preference in the selection process to panels which demonstrate practice relevance, feature practitioner panelists, and/or will include key take-aways for the business community. 
  • Both the organizers’ and the prospective panelists’ names should be listed in the proposal PDF document that is uploaded as part of the submission process. In the online submission form, there are separate fields for organizers and panelists. Organizers should be indicated in the “Authors” field, and panelists should be indicated in the “Panelists” field that will appear when the session type “Panel” is selected. 
  • Panel proposals should provide information about panel theme, structure/agenda, and panelists. Recommended length is 3-5 pages.

Panel Authorship and The Rule of Two 

  • As it relates to panels, the “author” is the panel organizer and the “panelist” is a participant who sits on the panel. 
  • A panel proposal submission will count against the limit of two proposals for those listed as authors on the proposal—in other words, the organizers of the panel. 
  • For those listed as potential panelists, who are not also authors/organizers, the submission will not count against the limit of two proposals. 

Review Process 

  • Panel Submissions do not go through the double-blind review process, as authorship and panelists are important factors for the quality of the submission. 
  • The Track Chairs will make decisions on these submissions and notify authors around the same time as acceptance notifications for research proposals are announced. 
  • Track Chairs may, at their discretion, accept panel proposals upon certain conditions which, if applicable, will be shared at the time of acceptance notification. 

If Accepted 

  • If accepted for the conference, organizers will be responsible for confirming all panelists’ attendance. Virtual opportunities are very limited, so organizers should focus on those who are able to attend in-person. All panelists will be expected to register for the conference; complimentary invited speaker registrations will be available upon request only to practitioner panelists. 
  • Should the composition of the panel change from the listed participants on the proposal, the Conference Committee reserves the right to withdraw the panel from the program.