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How to maximize panelist engagement

Make the panel feel special

Give the panel a name which people will feel proud to be a part of, and make it clear that it is a small group of selected people who make up the panel. Imagine a panelist telling a friend; "I am a panelist in Acme's innovation panel, we are only 50 people who create new things together".


You could also reward the panelists after a while, by inviting them to events or giving them some kind of perk like having lunch with the CEO. As people joined the panel to contribute, this is often more powerful than discounts and monetary rewards.



Pick the right panelists

When panelists see that other panelists write good answers and put effort into explaining their opinions, they are more likely to do so as well. Try to pick people who have shown interest in contributing before, perhaps in social media or through customer service. You also need enough panelists, we often recommend 20-200 people.


Be active in the discussions

As answers start rolling in, make sure that you are active. Like answers, thank panelists for good answers and ask follow up questions by commenting on their answers. This is an excellent opportunity to dig deeper, to understand more about why the panelist answered what they did.


Show panelists that you listen

It can be hard to quickly act on new insights, but it is easy to show that you listen and learn. Panelists want to feel like their effort is valued, so take the time to tell panelists what you learned from the previous video question when you record a new one. And when you have created something based on input from the panel, make sure to let them know!