The List of Profan Panel Ideas for Your Convention

The round up of convention ideas is here.

Below is a giant list of ideas for panels you can suggest or even do at your own convention to encourage people to use their hobbies in their jobs.  Feel free to suggest more ideas, or note successful panel ideas you've pulled off that should be included!

Count: 103
Last updated: 12/9/2009

General: 7

  • Boring Jobs You'll Love – Discuss careers in industries you'd like, but that most people wouldn't think of as exciting.  Of course accounting or Project Management don't sound exciting, but . . .
  • Careers for (Geeks/Otaku/Sports Fans) you never think of – Look at oddball careers that people may never think of relate to their fandom
  • Global Geek Careers: Do I have to move for my dream job? – A look at the myths and facts about relocating for various careers.
  • I'm Doing What I Love – How do I explain it?  Telling friends, family, and loved ones that you're turning your hobby into your career can be hard.  here's a few tips on doing that
  • If You Like This, Do That – A look at jobs that are good for fans with particular interests and hobbies.
  • Successful Fans – Get together fans with career success stories in a roundtable and have people ask for what they did right.
  • The Fannish Career Transition – Moving to a career based on your geekery later in life – for managers, senior programmers, and more.

Acting (all kinds): 7

  • Acting Careers, a perspective – A look at how acting careers are launched and developed successfully.
  • Acting Careers: It Takes All Kinds – A look at the many kinds of acting careers, including those people forget.
  • Audition Via Technology – A Panel on making audition tapes, video, audio, etc.
  • CGI, Acting and More – What will the increase in CGI mean for actors?
  • Location, Location: Where the Actors Are – Actors tend to congregate in specific areas.  Why this happens, where they do it – and do you want to follow?
  • The Future of Acting – A look at how acting is changed and what it means for careers.
  • Voice Acting, the Truth – A look at a difficult, complex field and the many ways people do (and don't) make a living at it.

Anime and Animation: 10

  • Animation, Other Countries, and You – Where are the animation hotspots and what does it mean for an animation career?
  • Animation: Technology versus By Hand – What is the role of hand-drawn work in animation?  Computers?  What will this mean for the future.
  • Animation Tools and Technology – A look at the tools used tomorrow and today that people need to know for animation careers.
  • Animation Where You Least Expect It – Careers for animators youd never expect.
  • Animation, Costs, The Future – Animation is cheaper than live action, isn't it?  A look at the costs of production and what it means for animation careers.
  • Anime Online: Crunchyroll, Hulu, and more have changed how people get programs.  So what does that mean for the industry – and your career?
  • Animatiors: Games, Cartoons, and More – where are the jobs in animation?  Anime?  Animation?  CGI?  Games?
  • Breaking into Animation – How-to's from people that did it.
  • Economics of Anime and Animation – Japan's anime industry has its issues, animation is outsourced all over the world – what does this mean for future animators.
  • The Future and History of Animation – Where it was, where it's going and what careers are there.

Art: 8

  • Art's in a Name? – What do you call yourself as a professional artist?  Artist?  Illustrator?  Graphic Artist? 
  • Art and Careers – Sure you want a career in art, but just what opportunities are out there?
  • Art and Technology, What you need to know – Discuss the technologies that you need or may use in the art role.
  • Art: Certifications and Education – What's the best way – and kind -  to get art training and certifications in programs for your art career.
  • Art, Copyright, and Online – What copyright means for the budding artist using online resources – and having people hijack their work.
  • Creating an Online Porfolio – How artists can build an online porftolio, and the pros and cons of different options.
  • Preparing a Portfolio – How to prepare portfolios properly, with hands-on reviews.
  • Technology Tutorials – Live tutorials on art programs like Maya, Photoshop, and more.


  • Changes In The Comic Industry – Aquisitions, globalization, refocusing.  If you want to get into comics/manga/etc. what do all the changes in the global market mean to you?
  • Comics versus Manga Careers: Manga affected by comics, comics affected by Manga, publishers with similar styles in multiple countries – what does it mean for careerists?
  • Comics, Manga, and E-Formats: Will electronic formats dominate comics and manga in the future? What does that mean for careerists – and independents?
  • Self-Publishing Comics and Manga: Has the time finally come, decades after the first indie comics, for comic/manga publication to be available to everyone?
  • Trends in Comics – What are current trends in comics, how (or if) to capitalize on them, and where manga/comics differ

Cosplay: 2

  • Cosplay To Career – Ways to use cosplay experience on the job or careers based on it.
  • Professional Cosplay You Never See – Tailors to costumers, your cosplay skills can be used in professions you may not think of.

Job Skills: 2

  • And How Do I Put THAT on my Resume?  – How do you put your fannish and geek experiences on a resume?  It may be easier than you think.
  • Networking at Conventions – Networking is the key to success – and you can do it at conventions without being obnoxious or killing the fun!

Law: 3

  • Copyright: What's up? – A straightforward discussion of copyright, what it means, what it doesn't mean, and what people need to know.
  • The Excitement of Geek Law – Discuss how legal issues affect geeky things from publishing to IP, and careers in law related to it.
  • International Law And (Art/Anime/etc.) – How law issues of today affect your favorite media and possibly your career.

Life: 5

  • Fans on the Job – So you're a raging fangirl, fanboy, otaku, what have you.  How do you deal with people that don't get your geek at work?
  • Gizmos for the Professional Fan/Geek/Otaku – What out there is useful, powerful technology – that's also incredibly cool?
  • Globalization, Geeks, and Jobs – The world is shrinking, everything is changing – so what does the future hold?  A look at geeky jobs in the near future of a smaller world.
  • The Geekiest Places – What are the best places for professional geeks to live and work?
  • The Geekiest Professions – What are the best jobs where your inner geek can be your outer geek?

Media: 2

  • Location, Location – Television, films, all seem to be filming in radically different locations than a year ago.  What's the future of this?
  • Multimedia, Multi-careers – In an age where books become movies that have video games based on them, just where is the "sweet spot" where all careers are multimedia?

Miscellaneous: 6

  • Fansourcing – Keep it in the family!  Build your business and help fellow fans out by leveraging their skills and abilities.
  • I'm a Success, so what do I do? – When your art, writing, comic-drawing, game programming, etc. actually pays the bills what's next for you?
  • Overseas Careers – So your fandom involves a partiuarly beloved country.  What are the options to live and work there for a time – such as JET, language teaching, and more.
  • Starting a fannish business – Comic shops, freelance artists, and more.  Gather experts from different fannish businesses for a roundtable.
  • Your Own Fannish Business: Online or bricks and mortar – The advantages and disadvantages of starting your own business – and how online and bricks-and-mortar aren't exclusionary.
  • Translation Nation – Careers in translation, especially for Otaku.

Movies: 4

  • Movies and Indie Films – Indie films are bigger and bigger business.  Is that the way to break into film – or is it the future of film you should look at.
  • Scriptwriting as a Career – How does one become a movie scriptwriter, especially in this day and age?
  • The Future Of Film – What is the future of movies and what does it mean for people's careers?
  • Unusual Careers In Film – A look at careers in film, including ones people don't usually think of.

Music: 3

  • Behind the band: Careers in music – Examines careers in music, from producers to technicians.
  • Music, Technology, and the Future – The internet changed music, and it's still changing.  What will this mean for the future of music, bands, and technologies.
  • The Music Studio on the Cheap – Just how cheaply can you make a modern music studio using home computers and easily available equipment?

Social Media: 3

  • Blogging, fun, and your future – How blogging is a way to build skills and reputation that can not just be fun- it  can be useful on the job.
  • Careers in Social Media – So you want to work at Twitter, FaceBook, or on social media.  Just what is going on in these industries and what do you need to know?
  • Social Media for Fun, More Fun, and Profit – Social media draws us together as friends but is also big in careers.  Discuss how to do both at once – and what to avoid!

Sports: 2

  • Careers in Sports you never Imagined – Discuss the many careers in sports, from publicity to sports doctors to historians.
  • Sports, Media, and Careers – Sports media is big – so just what kind of jobs are there in it?

Technology: 3

  • Careers in Computing: A look at the obvious – and non-obvious – careers for technology geeks
  • Technology: Certifications that Pay off – What certifications pay off in technical fields – and how do you get them?
  • Technology: Professional AND Cool – Look at the must-have gadgets and technology that make you a geek AND a pro – like iPhones, personal websites, etc.

Television: 4

  • Shows versus Reality Shows – Will we ever be free of the huge amount of reality shows and return to more scripts?
  • Television Writer: Career Overview – How do people break into television writing.
  • Television, Careers, and the Web: How is the web changing TV – and changing careers in television?
  • Television: Spinoff Nation and the future – How many versions of CSI can there be?  What do these endless spinoffs mean for television careers?

Video: 3

  • Video Online: What it Means – Hulu, Crunchyroll, everyone's moving television, anime, and movies online.  What does it mean if you want to work in these industries?
  • Video Technology hands-on: Provide one or more lectures on using important video editing and production technologies.
  • Video, the Forgotten Career: People talk about writing, animation, and acting, but careers in editing and producing video are huge – find out your options!

Video Games: 8

  • A Matter Of Scale – What's the future of gaming?  Console?  Mobile?  Something else?
  • Careers in Videogames, more than you think – An examination of just how wide the video game industry casts its net, and the many people involved.
  • Indie Games How-To: How people make and distribute indie-games, and how they succeed – and fail.
  • MMO's and Careers: MMO's are hot.  What's it like to work there – and how does one get in?
  • The Future of the Game Company: Companies are shifting, laying off, acquiring, changing, and popping up.  Indies are on the rise.  Just what will the game company of the future look like?
  • Video Game Dream Companies – With the layoffs, reorganizations, and acquisitions, what game companies are worth working for – if any?
  • Videogame Careers: What They Never Tell You – Format Problems?  Licensing Issues?  Find out all the challenges in a video game career no one usually tells you about.
  • Videogaming: The Sum Of Its Parts – A  look at how video games are made by a dizzying aray of studios, consultants, and more – and what this means for career options.

Writing: 16

  • Actually I like Editing – The role of editors in modern writing, and how it may be the right profession for you.
  • Agents and Writing – Do you need an agent these days, and if you decide to, just how do you find one.
  • E-Books and Writers – What does the e-book trend mean to writers and aspiring writers?
  • Forgotten Genres – Which genres are forgotten – and prime to write about?
  • From Book to Screen: What to expect – It seems all sorts of books are options for films, if not produced.  What is it REALLY like when a book gets optioned, and when it goes to screen?
  • Legal Isuses in Writing: Copyright, ISBN, and more.  If you want to write, understand the legal issues you'll face.
  • Pitching a Proposal – How-to's on pitching books and book proposals to the professionals.
  • Paying the Bills With Non-Fiction – It may not sound glamorous, but technical writing, documentation, and more can keep a writer paying the bills while they work on that novel.
  • Publishing in The Electronic Age – How is the internet, e-books, and more changing publishing.
  • Resurrecting That Book – How to get a rejected (or even forgotten) manuscript back to being publishable.
  • Self-Publishing, is it right for you? – A look at self-publishing and when it's right for people.
  • Self-Publishing, How To – Hands-on on self-publishing
  • Trends in Writing – What are current trends in popular writing, how (or if) to capitalize on them.
  • What Do I Write To Start? – Want a writing career?  What is the most likely subject and kind of writing to get you published?
  • Writing In the Future – How writing is changing and what pros and potential pros need to know
  • Writing You Never Expected – How professional writing can lead you to some strange areas, from short stories to video-game tie-ins – and how you may find yourself paying the bills.

Be sure to post or send me ideas you'd like to see here!

– Steven Savage