Call for Panels


Do you have an idea for a discussion panel at Chicago TARDIS? Let us know what it is and we’ll put our analytical minds to work on all the submissions to build our con schedule for 2019! Scroll to the bottom of this page to fill out the submission form. You can also go directly to the Google form to submit your ideas.


Please take some time to read the info below or in the panel form to fully understand our programming submission and acceptance process:

  1. We are looking for ANY ideas, whether you want to participate in the panel (the call for panel participants comes later in the year) or not; whether you intend the panel to be a fan panel or a pro panel or a mix, or even if we’ve had a similar panel in a previous year. Don’t be afraid to suggest something off-the-wall!


  2. Not all ideas will be turned into panels, and some ideas may be tweaked for various reasons.


  3. Panel ideas can come from anyone, whether you are registered for the convention or not. We want you to be there, but we won’t turn down a good idea! (Note that the call for panel participants, when it goes out later in the year, will ONLY be open to registered attendees. Why not register now if you haven’t done so already?)


  4. You are free to submit as many ideas you want, and they don’t all have to be submitted at the same time. If you do submit more than one, please use the same first and last name on each. Every idea will be given equal, careful consideration.

  5. We work very hard to present a positive convention experience for everyone, including using no negative language in our panel descriptions and titles. Please bear this in mind if you intend to suggest a panel that may involve negativity (e.g. “Worst Doctor Who Episodes Ever”). Those ideas won’t necessarily be turned down, but we may have to work harder to serve them in a positive light. Keep this in mind when making such suggestions.


  6. Just as an FYI and a peek at some of our programming concepts for 2019 – this year we will have some panels grouped into “Virtual Tracks” to make overall topics easier to identify and follow. (Meaning on our final schedule in the program book and in our online schedule.) The most prominent of these will be the Costuming/Cosplay Track. All of the panels on Costuming/Cosplay will be flagged as one Virtual Track. It will make it easier for us to reduce overlap in the schedule and for you to attend related panels in different categories.


  7. Sometimes, the ideas we receive are heavily weighted towards NON-Doctor Who topics. There’s nothing wrong with that, and you’re right if you’re thinking we already have a lot of our Doctor Who panel topics planned. We just encourage you to develop your Doctor Who ideas, too, since we’re a Doctor Who convention!


  8. Our panels (even those on the Main Stage) are broken down into several distinct categories:

    1. “SHOW” – an event designed for your viewing and listening pleasure (such as the Masquerade and Mysterious Theatre 337) that may or may not involve audience participation

    2. “INTERACTIVE” – typically one of our game shows or something else that strongly encourages audience participation

    3. “PANEL” – the traditional setup in which a group of panelists led by a convention-designated moderator discusses the topic

    4. “ROUNDTABLE” – a convention-designated moderator leads the entire room in a discussion of the topic

    5. “WORKSHOP” – a demonstration of a skill related to cosplay, props, etc.; given by a panelist who provides their own materials (if necessary)

    6. “SOLO” – a guest (or several guests) run their panel on their own without a host

    7. “GUIDED INTERVIEW” – a guest (or several guests) is asked questions by an interviewer, who will also take questions from the audience

    8. “FOCUSED INTERVIEW” – a guest (or several guests) is asked questions by an interviewer with no expectation of taking audience questions (although questions may still be taken, it is up to the interviewer and/or guest)

We intend to denote the category of the panel in the program book. Our schedule will ensure there will be an opportunity for questions from the audience at some point during the weekend, so any guest who is scheduled for a FOCUSED INTERVIEW will also be separately scheduled for a GUIDED INTERVIEW. This is something new we’re trying for 2019.  The intention is that everyone will have a greater understanding of what they are in for when they attend their chosen piece of programming.

  9. Submitting a panel idea and/or the convention’s acceptance of a panel idea does not constitute or suggest any formal agreement between the convention and the submitter. It does not mean you have any additional benefits, stature, remuneration or compensation.

  10. If an idea submitter also wants to be ON the panel, they MUST ALSO respond to the call for panel participants later in the year. Those who submit panel ideas will not automatically be added to panels.

  11. The convention reserves the right to change the schedule and/or these rules if necessary for the well being of the convention and its attendees and guests.

 12. The convention may contact you via email for additional information.


The current deadline for the call for panels is September 9th. If the deadline changes, we will make a public announcement via the usual channels (our website, Twitter, Facebook).

Please contact us if you have any questions!