There’s a short bit over at Tor.com concerning panels at NYCC here.
I’ve only been involved with 1 panel at NYCC in my life, so my experience is quite limited. In general, I agree with the sentiment in the piece – the panel was too big. If your purpose is to let fans interact and question authors in a satisfying way, I think a panel half that size would have been ideal.
On the other hand, we had a big crowd that I got to prance around like a jackass in front of (my favorite promotional technique), and if we cut 5 of those authors would we have done so well? Probably not.
Next time I do a Con, friends, let’s organize our own unofficial Jeff Somers Panel: You guys, me, a tavern. You buy the drinks, I answer the questions, someone volunteers to a) carry me to my hotel room and b) call my wife and explain it’s not my fault.