Not dumb at all! If you're new to the convention scene, questions are highly likely. :3
A panel is an event based around one specific topic. There can be any number of panelist (people running the panel) discussing the topic. Panels can be about anything from cosplay work to the world of Harry Potter.
We pride ourselves on having diverse panels every year! Panels are a bulk of the programming at any convention.
Some standard panels that you'll see every year are
Anime Unscripted - an improv show along the lines of Who's Line is it Anyway? Participants include guests invited to the convention as well as Jekka and Patrick of the Chibi Project
Extreme Geek - everyone who's not 18 wishes they could get into this wacky game show.
Its epic, its geeky and its EXTREME. 18+
Cosplay Court Case - has quickly become a fan favorite at PCM (and I'm not just saying that because its my event!). Every year we pack the room. This year we actually had to turn people away. The court case is another improv event. I accept applications in the winter and come Portcon everyone meets for the first time with only who is what in court. Its a ton of fun.
In the past we've had panels on J-Rock, how to run an anime club, artist's panels, guest panels, cosplay repair, and panels on specific series or artist's like Studio Ghibli or the Legend of Zelda franchise.
Feel free to apply for a panel if your interested. Most panels are run by attendees, and without them there wouldn't be much to do at the convention!