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Roundtable sessions are events consisting of collaborative, lively, and stimulating discussions to debate around a defined topic or explore a new field on a given topic or subject area. In this event, the participants are a moderator, various speakers, and an audience. The moderator is a professional experienced in the role of moderator, is knowledgeable in the field of discussion, and is neutral during the discussion. The speakers are experts in their fields and relevant to the topic of debate, ensuring a broad scope for conversation and discussion. Finally, the audience can observe or participate by asking questions.
Use this event to:
- Encourage open discussion.
- Explore or brainstorm about an idea or topic.
- Share and discuss information or ideas.
You and other collaborators
- The speakers: prepare well in advance, bring a variety of perspectives, opinions, and information regarding the topic of discussion, share knowledge and generate ideas.
- Moderator: sets the tone, facilitates the collaborative discussion without guiding its direction, stimulates the dialogue to avoid stagnation, ensures fair participation by all speakers, and summarizes the discussion at the end of the event.
- IT-support: facilitates, manages the technology, records the session, and (possibly) edits the recorded session.
- Communication support: promotes the event, collects questions in advance (if decided), emails participants resolutions, notes, or follow-up materials (asks for feedback), and shares the (edited) version of the session with the participants.
The moderator can prepare the key points of discussion in advance (with support from the speakers if necessary). Brief the speakers and request their support materials in advance (if any to be used during the event). Prepare a whiteboard or shared document to summarize the conclusions.
Questions to get started
- What is the purpose of the roundtable session?
- What do you plan to do with the information after the event?
- What is the topic of discussion or exploration?
- What are the points that you would like attendees to discuss?
- Who will participate in the event and in which role? (speakers, moderator, observers)
- How would you like speakers to prepare?
- Would you like participants to ask questions?
- How will your agenda be structured?
- Are there any ground rules you would like to introduce?
- How long should the event last?
- Is the technology you have available fit for the purpose of the event and for the number of participants in your audience?
- Does your audience have access to the technology or communication channel required for the event?
- How will you measure the success of the event?