For this show, we had enough room so that we could give me enough space to walk between the lower and upper ranks of panelists, making it easier for me to point the microphone at them. The ECM-51A is long, but not infinitely so, and its pickup (intentionally) requires it to be pretty close to your mouth. Alas, people tend to back up when I put the microphone in their face, even when I tell them that they need to let it get pretty close to them.
The triangle/circle indicators are 5x8 index cards that I printed (years ago; we've been using them ever since) with an unfilled indicator on one side and a filled one on the other. When the panelist matches, s/he rotates his/her sign to display the match symbol. (You can see the "match" side of Chris' triangle card where it has fallen over.) It's low-tech but generally effective.
I print panelist name tents for every show. Sometimes I get a name wrong, but it's relatively easy for people to correct a name on the blank side of the tent, as Wolfcat did in this show.
In our early days, we went through hundreds of 5x8 cards for the panelists to write their answers. I had to spend hours feeding the cards into a printer to copy the images onto the backs. (And the printers don't generally like index card stock and jam a lot.) dinogrl suggested (and pointed me at a source for) small whiteboards, and I bought a dozen of them and taped MGSF signs to their backs. Now we only have to remember to bring lots of dry-erase markers and stuff which which to erase them. Ideally I want twelve markers for six boards because markers dry out and because it reduces squabbling over colors. Oh, and you have to keep the permanent markers (about which more in tomorrow's entry) away from the dry-erase markers so you don't ruin the boards.
Normally we have MGSF banners (and a large circle/triangle banner) to hang from the front of the tables, but we forgot to get the poster tube, which turned out to have been in the garage rather than with the other gear for the show. Yesterday, we retrieved the tube and discovered that one end had gotten damp, so the posters were ruined anyway. Lisa improvised with the string of show promotional fliers, which makes me happy that I usually print too many of them. I no longer have easy access to a large-format printer whose quirks I know, so it may be challenging to print new banners. OTOH, there's a place here in Fernley with a large-format printer, so if all else fails, I can simply pay for banners. It is in fact tempting to go ahead and spring for vinyl banners with grommets; there is a sign shop within walking distance of my house. When money is less tight, I will go price banner printing.
As I've said before, I personally find writing the questions the hardest part of the show. Writing is always underrated. Once the questions are printed and packed in their envelopes, my stress level goes way down.