May I make a suggestion? Eight panelists is just too many. My favorite panel discussions are with three or fewer panel voices. More than three (and I may be being generous saying three), and the whole thing gets completely out of hand. The recent panel with women riders is a case in point. Obviously, the subject is of interest to me, and I know a lot of the participants already. But boy, howdy—even I could not stand all the back and forth. It became so disjointed, it just started to feel like ranting and rambling. Ugh.
I am the same way when it comes to f2f panels. If there are more than three panelists, I skip the session. A panel of three requires an unusually skilled moderator to keep things from getting off track. Like you, I really enjoy the repartee one sees when watching a panel of two. I also really enjoy a good one-on-one interview. Those are often very thought-provoking.
Just my two cents... 😬