5 Tips for Virtual Roundtables
Are you connecting members 365 days a year? Are you hosting roundtable discussions with some of your most experienced and knowledgeable members? With JUNO 365, networking, learning and connection can all be driven to your members year-round, and with roundtable discussions, your members can be at the center of attention.
What is a roundtable discussion?
A roundtable discussion is usually an academic, topic-driven discussion with a group of community members, panel guests, or industry experts. Roundtable discussions usually have around 6 to 8 members, but larger discussions can have over ten people.
Hence the name, the group (usually sitting in a circle when in-person) will discuss agreed upon material where every member has a chance to share their knowledge with the group. Usually, these discussions are run by one moderator who deals with subject changes and time constraints.
What is a roundtable discussion within your 365 community platform?
Taking things into the virtual realm often builds upon the things we are used to in-person. For roundtable discussions, expect them to achieve the same common goals as before, but the experience might feel brand new.
For starters, in a virtual setting, the whole “round” table, where people sit in a circle to discuss topics at hand, won’t be the same visually. Most likely, you will be looking at a group of people in blocks on a screen, and although they won’t be together in-person, they can still have meaningful industry-wide discussions.
When you have the connectivity of a virtual 365 community platform, there is no waiting for the next in-person event so you can be heard as an industry leader. People are learning and growing every day. Industries change often, and people want to communicate daily to keep up.
Although curating insightful roundtables with industry experts brings in audience members, sometimes your community members need a place for a few people to connect over things they enjoy. Allow you members to create engaging breakout discussions and give them the space to connect when they need them.
5 Tips for Virtual Roundtables:
It’s time to reinvent the roundtable space. Here are some tips to help curate these events virtually:
This is a must in any roundtable discussion, so make sure there is one! According to Markletit “63% of people say that the ideal time for a virtual roundtable discussion is between 60 and 90 minutes.” With that in mind, moderators are responsible for time management and the overall flow towards the conversation.
It is the moderator’s job to allow every speaker the opportunity to voice their thoughts, come prepared with topic-driven questions, and ensure the discussion stays friendly.
Plan your Discussion
As cliche as this sounds, it is important that everyone knows the structure of the chat. What is the topic, who are the speakers, and most importantly what is the timeline? Your timeline should be clearly defined so speakers understand how they will be participating and audience members can stay on track.
Define the Purpose
What's the why? Are people connecting and catching up? Are you leading an industry-wide roundtable on hybrid events and need all hands on deck? Are people there to learn, debate, or solve challenging issues?
Whatever reason you are creating the discussion, it's always key to define the purpose of the event. If no one knows the purpose of the event, they might not show up.
Just like your discussion timeline, you must have a plan of attack for audience engagement. Within the JUNO platform, you can utilize many engagement tools such as emojis, Q&A, and live polling.
Be sure to incorporate these with your roundtable discussion. You can even do live Q&A directly with audience members.
Digital roundtables are a new way of connecting and there's a good chance you’ll need a few iterations to figure out what works and what doesn’t. What engaging tools are audience members using and how can the speakers further their engagement with attendees? How can you get creative?
Offer a simple questionnaire for community members after discussions and gather some feedback on how you can improve. You can also work with the JUNO team to collect the necessary data for your discussions.
This is the power of a 365 community platform: design the blueprints with JUNO, and lift your community to a new tomorrow full of connectivity.