How to Run a Successful Roundtable Discussion
Jun 20, · As the time comes to a close, let them know you’re close to switching to the next topic by giving a second warning to wrap up the conversations. Continue to do so for each round thereafter. Wrap-up: After the last discussion topic has finished, wrap-up the event with closing announcements. Mar 14, · Tips for facilitating round-table discussions. 1 – understand the participants. Take time beforehand to understand the kinds of participants around the table. What are they expecting from the 2 – understand and prepare the topic under discussion. 3 – .
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 alternative to a 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 how to prepare a resume for an internship somewhere between participants.
Assess the title and companies of the attendees and try to create a spread of complementary skills across 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 could be the difference between a good event and a flop. A strong moderator can keep things on track and moving along if a 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 is 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 compilation 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 what does it mean when your sperm is clumpy 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?
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1 – understand the participants
Roundtable discussions are a great way to bring people together to network, collaborate, and create meaningful connections between professionals. But hosting a roundtable event can seem like an overwhelming task. As an event planner, you want to ensure your attendees have conversations that are worthwhile. Knowing how to facilitate a roundtable discussion is key to creating an energizing and successful session. With more than 30 years of event planning experience that focuses on connecting like-minded professionals, we know a thing or two about facilitating energizing and impactful networking events.
Tables: Hence the name roundtables, you should quite literally use round tables. It also reinforces the idea that each person is allowed equal right to participate, as illustrated by the circular shape. We recommend seating between 5—8 people per table, depending on table size. Audio: To keep things simple, we encourage using only a wireless microphone with speakers for the roundtable facilitator.
This way, you are able to walk around the room and manage the event, all while on the move. They tend to take away from the conversations as the participants start to focus on how much time is left instead of being present in the current conversations. For example, if you want to extend one round by a minute or cut another round short, you can easily do so without the participants noticing. Discussion Topics: The best way to decide on discussion topics is to go straight to the source: the attendees.
Rather than trying to guess what they want to talk about, just ask them! When they register for the event, you should be collecting data about their demographics anyway including their industry, areas of interest, geographical location, job title, etc. After they fill out this basic information, include an open-ended question that asks them to submit one discussion topic for consideration, noting that topics with the highest relevancy or frequency will likely be chosen.
Our software can create strategic seating assignments at the touch of the button, using the data you collect during event registration. With it, you can group participants who share the same interests, have similar job responsibilities or roles, or come from the same geographic region.
Give your attendees a general overview of the format of the event, the objectives, how to maximize connections, and what to expect. This should last no more than 10 minutes. To start the discussions, have everyone quickly introduce themselves in a few sentences.
You can put the topic on a screen or pass out a piece of paper with a list of discussion topics. Continue to do so for each round thereafter.
Wrap-up: After the last discussion topic has finished, wrap-up the event with closing announcements. Remind your attendees to follow-up and keep in contact with their new connections so they can continue to build upon the relationships.
And those are the basics! Now you know how to facilitate roundtable discussions. Call us today or request more information from our form. Happy facilitating! They discuss the the real val.
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