As someone who has been a panelist at Otakon and other cons many times, I have quite a bit to say about all this. However, I will force myself to keep it as brief as I can. Also, as panels at Otakon '07 had separate issues, I will speak about cons in general and not about Otakon specifically.
I basically think there are two things that all fan conventions, especially anime conventions, need to do in regards to fan panels.
First, the cons need to keep more tabs on the panelists. Have their phone numbers. Call them to remind them of their panel. Force them to come to panel ops as soon