Round table business events bring experts together to discuss a particular subject. Moderated sessions often facilitate these gatherings; however, participants can either self-select themselves or be invited by moderators.
Successful roundtables bring together diverse members with different experiences to add depth to the discussion. For example, one DEI roundtable brought together Black women from different walks of life who shared personal accounts and perspectives.
Choosing a topic
An engaging topic for a round table discussion must be relevant and engaging for your target audience, reflecting your products or services offered and your brand values.
if you need help selecting an engaging topic for your round table discussion, ask your sales team or other business partners for feedback regarding current industry trends; they might give some excellent ideas!
Ideal, your topic should address an issue relevant to your audience that your products or services can address, rather than something off topic that does not pique their interest in what your business has to offer.
As well as selecting an engaging topic for discussion, it’s also essential that the moderator understands your objectives for hosting a roundtable discussion. A quick interview should allow you to find someone qualified and experienced who understands both your goals and who can keep conversations flowing smoothly throughout.
Planning a round table business discussion requires carefully selecting participants who can contribute meaningfully. These could include decision makers and industry experts as well as people bringing different experiences that might enrich discussions.
Size can play an integral part in ensuring the success of a roundtable discussion. A larger group can facilitate lively dialogue while smaller numbers could result in long silences or lack of attention towards key topics.
Your discussion must have an explicit objective that all participants can understand. A goal will help keep things on track and prevent unnecessary side debates from derailment. Furthermore, selecting a moderator who understands its objectives and knows how to facilitate it efficiently is also critical.
Organizing the event
An efficient round table meeting requires having an organized agenda and set of ground rules, to keep discussion flowing smoothly while making everyone feel valued.
First, choose your topic of discussion carefully – something relevant to both your business and audience interests.
Your event must also appeal to its participants and create excitement among attendees, so choose an engaging topic that provides essential insights and solutions while reflecting positively on your brand.
Ideal topics should include diverse industries; this will allow attendees to discover solutions outside their usual scope of business. For example, a CEO from a tech company might learn much from speaking to the president of a construction firm.
Managing the discussion
Like any conversation, round table discussions can quickly go off track when people become disrespectful of one another. A moderator’s job is to guide and moderate this discussion so everyone gets their say and feels heard.
Finding an experienced moderator is the key to successful group conversations. He or she should have enough confidence in keeping things on topic, or steering it back if discussion begins to stray off-track.
A skilled moderator should also have the ability to manage time during sessions so as not to exceed planned duration or end too quickly. They should also set ground rules which the discussion must abide by.