Virtual Descriptive Panel Leadership

Fall 2023

Virtual Descriptive Panel Leadership: October 2 – October 27, 2023

For working Panel Leaders: Tap the wisdom of experienced panel leaders to improve your skills in and out of the panel room. Learn and practice effective techniques for all aspects of leading and managing a descriptive analysis panel.

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Course Description

What you will learn:

  • How to successfully select, cultivate, monitor, & motivate a descriptive panel
  • To identify & assess your sensory evaluation practices & ensure they meet your team’s goals
  • How to approach challenges and successes in your panel environment
  • Methodology and applications of trained panels for sensory evaluations
  • How to coach and guide panelists on components of descriptive analysis
  • Controls necessary for panel success
  • Areas of opportunity personal growth as a panel leader
  • Leadership skills for conducting your panel efficiently, effectively, and with confidence
  • Best practices for leading virtual panels
  • Skills required of successful panel leaders
    • Leading group discussions
    • Continued panelist training
    • Panelist feedback

What you will do:

  • Practice developing terminology/lexicons and deepen your facilitation skills
  • Collaborate with course instructors & other panel leaders to problem solve panel challenges
  • Create a protocol in an unfamiliar category
  • Examine how test controls and context can influence sensory verdicts
  • Audit and develop strategies to augment your panel’s daily practices
  • Identify opportunities and strategies to grow panel skills and morale
  • Discuss virtual panel leading adaptations and techniques with other panel leaders

Who Should Attend

Sensory professionals who are currently leading descriptive analysis panels (Spectrum, Flavor or Texture Profile, QDA, Odor profile, Skin feel, Fabric feel, etc.)


  • This course will improve and expand panel leading skills.
  • This course will not teach you how to train a panel.

Emily Richter

Senior Project Manager

Emily Richter has worked in the field of Sensory Science for 11 years and currently serves as a Senior Project Manager at Sensory Spectrum with expertise in sensory evaluation of food and beverages. She brings her years of CPG industry experience to her consulting role to provide practical guidance to her clients. Emily has extensive experience in panel leading as well as training food panels and panel leaders. She enjoys connecting with existing panels to transform them into motivated panels who consistently produce accurate and actionable data. As a trained moderator, she also enjoys qualitative research and working directly with consumers to gain front end insights to guide innovation objectives. Emily holds a B.S. in Food Science from The Pennsylvania State University and a Certificate in Market Research from the University of Georgia.

Lisa Schroeder

Project Manager

Lisa Schroeder currently serves as a Project Manager, Product Understanding at Sensory Spectrum with expertise in all aspects of panel execution.  Lisa has over twenty years of experience forming, training, leading, and managing both descriptive analysis and quality panels.  She has also overseen and maintained sensory quality programs in food manufacturing production.  She enjoys developing protocols for training panels as well as creating protocols for challenging attributes and categories.  She has trained panels in Europe and Asia and has spent hundreds of hours assisting with developing scales and references relevant to international local markets and palates.  Lisa has a passion for coaching and mentoring panel leaders and is also adept at helping panelists understand complicated methodology.  Lisa has worked in the field of sensory for over 20 years and has held positions in food manufacturing sensory quality, panel leadership and panel management.