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Making the Most of a Virtual Panel

Panels are an integral part of the convention experience that allow creators to connect with fans. But how can you effectively structure and execute a panel that is entertaining and engaging in a virtual format? Hear from Adam Sheehan (Director of Events, Crunchyroll), David Alonzo (Marketing Manager, Idea Factory) and Elizabeth Ellis (Trade Shows & Events Senior Manager, VIZ Media) as they discuss panel structure and content, audience expectations, and the evolution to online experiences.

About the Speakers

Adam Sheehan

Adam Sheehan is the Director of Events for Crunchyroll, the world’s most popular anime brand with more than 70 million registered users and over three million subscribers. In this role, he is responsible for working with the Crunchyroll events teams on strategy, planning, and execution for more than 20 domestic events and Crunchyroll’s yearly flagship convention Crunchyroll Expo, which he helped found.

Adam has been a fixture in and around the anime industry for over 20 years and been a fan of anime since he was 3 years old. He has experience across the business of anime including brand management and digital marketing, with a primary focus on events and conventions.

Prior to joining Crunchyroll, Adam spent over 10 years at Funimation Entertainment where he helped build their conventions and events presence from the ground up during times when the US anime market was both booming and struggling.

Before joining Funimation, Adam worked for Score Entertainment where he spent a good amount of time traveling around the country in a Dragon Ball Z hummer. Adam founded a startup marketing firm while in college for the sole purpose of promoting local anime conventions.

David Alonzo

Marketing Manager – Idea Factory International.

David Alonzo has 7+ years of experience in the gaming industry and remembers (with no fondness) packing and mailing physical game discs for review. Working at a smaller game publisher, he’s had the opportunity to plan out everything from conventions, merchandise, and marketing strategies to marketing partnerships and smaller fan events. In lieu of big budgets, he values outside-the-box thinking and flexibility as essential tools for a marketer and believes data and analytics are important but should never replace human connection. When he’s not marketing videogames, he experiments with cooking healthier versions of the deeply unhealthy foods he really wants.

Elizabeth Ellis

Trade Shows & Events Senior Manager, VIZ

Liz Ellis has been working in the manga and anime industry for 8+ years. As the Trade Shows & Events Senior Manager for VIZ Media, the world’s largest publisher of English-language manga, Liz oversees the company’s presence at prominent events and conventions such as Anime Expo and Comic-Con International: San Diego, including 2020’s virtual equivalents. When not cozying up with a Sci-Fi comic, she can be found cloning an army of house plants in her tiny San Francisco jungle and recreating favorite meals of travels past.

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