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Roundtable Discussions Offer Fresh Approach to Networking

Roundtable Discussions Offer Fresh Approach to Networking

According to the latest IEEE report, 75% of all conference attendees desire to meet new people when they’re at an event. While this may not be surprising news, it is somewhat difficult to accomplish at a large event without a focused process.

Hence, the birth of networking roundtables. This concept blends two needs:

  1. It allows individuals to connect to more individuals and
  2. It provides a method for in-depth discussion about topics of interest

Is network roundtable discussions something to consider for your upcoming conference? Find out how to implement this concept successfully and its potential benefits to attendees.

Steps to an Effective Roundtable Discussion

First, start with the number of roundtables you need. If you have 250 attendees and want everyone to participate, obtain 25 rounds that will comfortably seat 10 individuals. One word of caution: Most rounds sit eight OR ten. Don’t try to squeeze ten or twelve individuals at a smaller table. It makes movement between tables cumbersome and looks unprofessional.

Second, determine the topic to be discussed at each table. Work with your event committee to come up with one- or two-word descriptors, such as Talent Shortage or Awards Ceremony. Focus on those issues that are important to your business or organization for the foreseeable future. Put each topic on a table top card holder that attendees can easily see.

Third, set up a discussion timeline. My suggestion is you limit each to 30- or 45-minutes so people can migrate to other topics and meet new people. Allow them time to go to at least three tables before the session ends.

Fourth, assign a table host. That person will start by asking everyone to share their business cards with the table. Then, they will ask questions and record responses on an iPad rental using a note-taking application that can aggregate all responses from every table into a central file.

Fifth, assign a room timer and have them ring a bell to let people know it’s time to move. Even though people often want to linger, remind them there is a 30-minute break after the roundtable concludes where they can continue their discussions.

Sixth, during the break, aggregate all the responses. Use a meeting room projector rental to display the ideas and responses generated. Consolidate duplicate comments and note if a topic resonates with the audience.

Last, bring everyone back into the room and present the results. Thank everyone for their time and input. Let them know there will be follow-up on the progression of their thoughts one, three and six months from now.

Benefits of Networking Roundtables

Roundtables are a great way to help attendees meet more people and have meaningful discussions about topics that are important to them and your organization. It allows attendees to connect in a more meaningful way.

Would You Like to Try Roundtable Discussions at Your Event?

Hartford Technology Rental can help you choose the right event rentals for your next roundtable. Call us today at 888-520-5667 or contact us online.  We have the technology rental equipment that is well within your budget.