How to Host a Virtual Roundtable Discussion

Top decision-makers often have distinct challenges associated with their roles that only others in the sector would understand fully. Thus, hosting a virtual roundtable discussion between these individuals represents a unique opportunity to hear what these executives have to say and the strategies that they wish to impose on outsiders to solve complex problems or offer unique solutions to otherwise underrepresented topics. Learning how to host a virtual roundtable discussion offers a unique opportunity for you to connect your top executives with one another to deliver actionable strategies to the team. Here’s what you must know.

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Start with Defined Objectives

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Hosting a virtual roundtable requires careful planning. You don’t want to put a group of C-level executives together, in a Livestream, and have an outright battle ensue. If you want to be successful with the virtual roundtable discussion, you need to prepare in advance to have the objectives and goals for both the executives and the audience in place.

Define how you will gauge the success of the roundtable. 

Ask yourself the following questions:

● What will the target audience number be? How many registrations will we need to reach that figure? What no-show rate will we assume?

● What steps will we take to make the roundtable interactive for outsiders?

● What metrics will we use to define success?

● What topic is most relevant to our target audience as well as most understood and emotionally connected to our top-level executives?

Select a Topic

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As you focus on how to host a virtual roundtable discussion, the next big event is to select a topic for discussion. You’ll need a topic that the audience is going to be interested in (otherwise you won’t get registrations and/or your no-show rate will be significantly higher than you anticipated). You’ll also need a topic that your top executives will have passion for (otherwise the conversion won’t be as interesting).

Your topic must align with your corporate offering. It makes no sense, hosting a roundtable discussion about pet care if your company provides IT software. You need your topic to align with your product or service offering so that you can provide key insights to people of like minds who may be interested in your business.

Determine Delivery Format

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Now that you have learned how to define the topics and the goals of the roundtable, let’s take a look at how to host a virtual roundtable discussion — the delivery. 

Roundtable discussions are generally 90 minutes or less in length. Most are at least one hour. The agenda will likely include a short period of introductions, a longer period of roundtable interactive discussions, followed by an equally short period of wrap-ups. 

Technology to host the roundtable will require some added thought and likely a professional. Consider hiring Beverly Boy Productions to help with the filming, streaming, and recording of the roundtable discussion so that you can use the footage for future promotions. 

Here’s what you need to consider with delivery:

● A virtual conference platform. Will you use Zoom or Webex or something else?

● The filming. Will you hire a film crew to make the roundtable appear professionally captured?

● The interactive components. Will you include surveys, polls, and live Q&A opportunities?

● Audio equipment and lighting. Will you include professional lighting so that all members of the discussion appear their best?

As you learn how to host a virtual roundtable discussion, consider all of the formatting and technology issues that could arise during the event too. We recommend hiring a professional to ensure your event is delivered without delay or without any issues in production. Beverly Boy Productions is ready to assist you with your next roundtable event. Give us a call to learn more. 

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