I ran into a few posts on moderating which I just haven't seen before. Being a moderator of anything -- a company meeting, an off-site, or a business event is a tough job. If you are working with panelists, they really get all the glory but you, as moderator have the toughest role, which is to keep everything moving forward, keep the discussion interesting, and basically interrupt people who are going on and on.
I've not met Frank Catalano, but know of him. Here are his tips for great moderation.
The reason this topic caught my attention is that this is a specialized task and so very important. The whole business event can go down in flames with a moderator who is not with it. Without preparation about the panelists - their possible issues and opinions, plus knowledge of what is important to the audience - it becomes a very boring event. I say this because I am traditionally not a big fan of panels, yet I help organize them for the MIT Enterprise Forum and elsewhere periodically.
Another great post on moderating is Barry Eisler's Moderator's Manifesto.
It's just good to know that these resources are available when you need them - and even if you don't work as moderator, they are good to review to think about how applying some preparation can result in a fantastic event.