13 Tips for Planning and Hosting Successful Roundtables
Jul 30, · How to successfully conduct your roundtables? Define your goals. That’s always the first step. Defining your goals allows you to create a basis for the rest of the Carefully select your attendee list. With the objectives and topics defined, it is time to wrap up the attendee list. Select a . Go around and have everyone share their top three discussion topics Put a check mark by a topic for every time it is mentioned again The topics with the most check marks are the topics that you will discuss. Discussion Topics minutes per topic State the topic in the form of a problem to solve.
A roundtable discussion can be a meaningful highlight of your conference or corporate event. Attendees love roundtables because everyone has the chance to participate in conversation. Unfortunately, these discussions can also be a disaster — because everyone has the chance to participate in conversation!
To avoid a chaotic discussion or yawn-inducing event, here are eight top tips for running a successful roundtable discussion. Click To Tweet. Your roundtable discussion can be an engaging what is wpb in fittings to how to conduct a roundtable discussion keynote speaker. Delegates are given the opportunity to be active participants, rather than listening to a PowerPoint presentation.
To help define the goals of your roundtable discussion, consider the following:. Establishing your goals upfront will help you run a smoother event from start to finish. It will also become the basis of your agenda you can find our tips for a smart agenda below. When people sit down to discuss an issue face to face, they have the opportunity to engage on a more personal level than sitting passively to listen to a presentation or speech.
To give everyone the opportunity to speak, try and limit the size of your roundtable to somewhere between participants. Assess the title and companies of the attendees and try to create a spread of complementary skills how to mute a violin each group. If relevant to your subject, you could also use include bonus questions for each table that play to the professional strengths of your attendees.
Like selecting a keynote speaker, who you choose to moderate the conversation how to conduct a roundtable discussion be the difference between a good event and a flop. A strong moderator can keep things on track and moving along if how to conduct a roundtable discussion discussion stagnates. So how do you select a moderator that will help your event shine? Here are some quick suggestions:.
How many attendees will be participating in the conversation? Do you need to break them into smaller groups? How long will the roundtable activity run for? If your time allocation is generous, group sizes can be largerbut if time is short, groups will need to be smaller to allow everyone a chance to be heard. If you have concurrent discussions at your event, assign a facilitator for each table and have a roving moderator.
This ensures someone is always checking tables to keep discussions productive. Say, for example, your roundtable discussion wants to tackle a hot-button industry issue. Be very clear about what points you want attendees to discuss to remain productive rather than getting stuck on a single issue. To help moderators stay focused, guide them with a clear, specific brief that details discussion points and what you would like them to achieve.
Set lead-in questions that frame the topic and give your moderator a guide on where to direct the conversation. Their opinion is the least important! Instruct them to use the brief to encourage your attendees to speak and avoid answering their own questions.
Give every attendee a copy of the agenda to keep them focused and informed. Your agenda should outline:. Have a staff member on hand to transcribe the major points and results of your roundtable discussion. A successful conversation will produce content that how to alleviate gallbladder pain valuable to both your attendees and your event brand.
Sharing results with participants is a great way to keep them engaged after the event and it could also create content that helps attract a similar audience to future events.
Your roundtable discussion was a success — congratulations! Your attendees have left feeling invigorated by the conversation. Now what? Part of your planning should include how the results of the discussion will be used. If you have groups, assign time for each table to share the top line results and engage in further discussion.
At a minimum, send out an email with a how to conduct a roundtable discussion of all top transcribed points and answers reached by your groups.
If your attendees came up with a solid plan, let them know how the information will be put to use and follow up with the results of any actionable outcome. A roundtable discussion is one piece of a much larger puzzle when planning a conference or corporate event. Ensure yours is a success from start to finish by keeping on top of trends and challenges that are influencing events like yours with our free guide, The State of Conferences and Corporate Events in How do you stop a roundtable discussion from feeling like another business meeting?
Read our 8 top…. All Rights Reserved.
2. Selecting the topic for the virtual roundtable discussion
Jul 07, · Here are a few steps for how to run a roundtable, or a group of roundtables, virtually: Run a survey before your event, asking your audience what kinds of topics they’re currently most interested in learning Upon registration, ask attendees to select the roundtables they’d like to attend, and. Dec 24, · Interactive Q&A Sessions. Carefully Pick Your Speaker. I can talk about #eventtech for hours. If you've met me around the world, you know how annoying I can be talking and Have a Good Mod. Use Technology. Prepare. Promote The Session Adequately.
Learn how they can bring a breath of fresh air to your event and successfully engage attendees. One person standing in front of a big screen. One of the most successful has been the roundtable. You might have something similar as part of an event you organise. What do we mean by a roundtable? They last about an hour and a half and have been successful editorially but also commercially, with companies paying to sponsor or host the roundtable.
Here are four things we learned in our early days doing roundtables that can make or break the event experience for your attendees:. Our best roundtables are always those with the clearest focus. There are complex, messy aspects of every profession. The more precise the topic is, the more successful it will be.
We often like to organize themes around industries or specific specialities. These are nicely self-contained. While participants benefit from the knowledge shared within sessions, the networking component is increasingly important.
They take a huge amount from meeting people likeminded professionals. Having a clear theme or topic will fuel productive conversation at your roundtable, but facilitators should be well-versed enough for a deep discussion, especially important if your group takes a bit of time to warm up. A key role in any roundtable is the moderator.
This is the person chairing and often leading the discussion. This person has to be articulate, confident and knowledgeable about the topics discussed. Instinctively, we turned to our conference speakers to be moderators.
This had varying degrees of success. Being a good conference speaker requires a clarity and certainty of thought. The last thing you want is a moderator who dominates the discussion. Their job is hard. They have to:. When we were starting out, our biggest concern with roundtables was getting bums on seats.
We wanted as many people to attend as possible so our sponsors got the most value for their money. Early on, we learnt with roundtables that quality always trumps quantity. It was at this point we got a lot more selective about who we invited or encouraged to attend roundtables. The clearer idea helped us create an experience that worked for all the participants.
Though it had disappeared by , when the Internet Archive began capturing data on aol. The concept was then adopted by several popular internet outlets, but found its popularity when forum-style website Reddit started a thread where users could ask founders of the site or subculture celebrities any questions they wanted.
Long story short, President Obama answered questions on the site and a myriad of other celebrities followed. There is a book about it if you want to read more. Of course, not all questions need to be answered.
Allow upvoting and comments so the people being asked can filter by relevance to the audience or dive further into topics by responding to comments in the thread. Questions can be really trivial or very challenging. Barack Obama was asked about the White House beer recipe This mix of silliness and meaning is what makes these sessions widely popular, but they also carry a lot of potential to deliver targeted, relevant content.
With access to the experts, attendees can get targeted advice on their specific context, as opposed to a general address which has its evident limits. As our latest report on engagement shows, events have evolved. Attendees want interaction, and event technology offering engagement is booming. Not all that glitters is gold though. While putting a personality, celebrity or performer in touch with your audience sounds like the ultimate idea, you really need to consider carefully whether this is the right move for your event.
I can talk about eventtech for hours. If you've met me around the world, you know how annoying I can be talking and talking about eventtech. I never stop. See that's my passion. I breathe it every day, 12 hours a day. If your speaker is not confident enough with the subject, you may want to reconsider.
You need a very high degree of confidence with the subject to perform. Otherwise, speakers may try to divert the conversation at times, and attendees might bring the conversation back to pain points which can sometimes represent very difficult topics to elaborate in quick answers. Moderators or MCs have a key role in the success of an interactive session. Their role is slightly different from moderating a panel or roundtable: they need to be more incisive, tech savvy and aware of the audience.
Interactive sessions are the brainchild of the internet and tech evolution. Using technology is key. If you run events, you know that attendees are reluctant to ask questions at the end of regular sessions.
This is not necessarily because they don't want to, but because they are scared to speak in public. Technology is a fantastic solution to this problem. Attendees can use apps or audience response systems to ask questions live. Other attendees can vote up questions they want answered. Tech can also help to visualize questions on the main screen, which helps those in need of visual aids during sessions.
Although attendees may like the novelty of the session, they still want some form of structure. This is one of the key reasons why formats like the unconference struggled to become mainstream. The complete lack of structure can confuse attendees. So you have your speaker ready for an amazing interactive session, all the attendees seated and excited, yet no questions are coming in.
This is a quite likely scenario. We love to think attendees share the same commitment and interest in sessions, but realistically they might only have decided to attend a few minutes before. You need to have some questions ready, in accordance with your speaker, that can serve as an ice breaker or safety net if few questions come in during the session. These can serve the purpose of explaining how the session is going to work. Also have some prepared on the tech platform you are going to use.
It will show your attendees the benefit of using the app to ask questions. Using your website and most of all social media to communicate what you are trying to do is instrumental to the end result. This gives attendees the chance to prepare as well. It also reduces that 'Where am I? Additionally, it will give your speaker enough confidence to perform and not think they are going against a public execution in front of hundreds of people.
It is probably the best channel to promote it. Social users are more confident with the concept of interactive and they may serve as echo chambers to your innovative attempt.
Social is also a key part of the actual session. Having someone from your team to summarize the answers you give on social media will help to digest what is being discussed and expand reach, involving remote audiences in the conversation. If you followed point 3 they will be able to ask questions via the app. Your live moderated social wall can display the the best bits of the action for others at the event and attract attendees from other areas of the venue.
Crowdstreaming is a powerful tool for extending reach and access to an even bigger audience. Invite attendees to stream the session live. Set up a stream yourself if they are not ready. This is a great way to turbocharge remote attendance. The benefits are indisputable. You get more questions in, which is a very good thing.
You get more engaged attendees online willing to learn more about your event and very likely attending next year. This is quickly becoming a given for most events. In fact they were born this way. Do not miss out on the opportunity.
As always, the official stream needs to be of quality and you need to have someone dedicated to look after it. As the first questions come in, speakers quickly realize the stage is incongruent with the type of session being had.
Invite speakers to jump off stage to mingle with the crowd and be closer to them. The speaker should walk around the audience. They should be close to who is asking the question. The idea is to break down the barriers between the audience and the speaker.
Break through the aura celebrities have and make them accessible to our audience. The speaker on stage is the legacy of how we used to do things 30, 40, 50 years ago.