I got up at 315AM to attend a panel discussion online.
It's 4AM now and I'm bored. I thought about why. Then it hit me,
most panel discussions are worthless.
It's people who typically have similar backgrounds and perspectives talking about a common theme.
So it ends up being the same message repeated by different voices.
Here's why most aren't worth your time.
Most panels are just long-winded showcases of the products and services of the panelists.
A lot of the questions are toothless innocuous inquires. They don't facilitate real discussion.
Difficult to truly engage with the panelists
The majority of panels have opportunities for audience members to ask questions at the end.
But when there's a good question that challenges the panel or is interesting, there's typically not enough time to deep dive into it.
The result is most of the questions from the audience turn out to be worthless. (much like the questions asked during the 'discussion')
Bottomline: If it's a topic you're really interested in, don't attend a panel discussion.
Contact the organizer or one of the panelists to ask them questions.
You'll get better answers, have more time for a more in depth conversation, and you won't have to listen to an hour of advertising wrapped in a discussion at 4AM.