Virtual roundtables - A format which works
When was the last time you made a business leader feel like they’d just had a great group therapy session? A well executed virtual roundtable event can do just this.
Historically, most roundtable events brought together seven or eight senior executives in person to discuss a specific industry trend or challenge. Participants would share their own challenges, experiences and ideas.
Whilst a good moderator can influence a positive outcome, these free flowing sessions were often exposed to strong personalities who spoke too much and introverts who remained silent.
"Great experience with the TechPros and Mindtree team, bringing together leaders from a very diverse background - 9/10
Richard Mohr, Chief Technology Officer and VP of New Products, FMS at Ryder System, Inc.
"An inspiring exchange with exciting panelists that uncovered outside-the-box ideas on current topics - 8/10
Claus Grunow, VP Digitalisation, Strategy & Coordination at Fraport
After experiencing a highly engaging format used by CEO membership organisations who met monthly, I thought the same format could work for a group of C-level business leaders from a similar industry sector or business function.
Sponsored by our clients, we started hosting one off roundtables in London at hotels and business clubs. Here’s how they worked:
Each participant is asked to share a specific challenge relevant to the topic at hand. These are voted on and the two winning challenges are selected for discussion. The challenge owner gets a round of questions from the table to inform the group of the problem. This is followed by a solutions round. Participants must concentrate fully throughout the session, devising multiple questions and solutions in case others have put forward the same ones before it's their turn.
The process of talking through how your organisation has approached a particular challenge can provoke clarity and critical thought. The challenge owners experience great value as a result of the ideas put forward by all participants. Conversations are stimulating, revealing and enjoyable and new connections are made. Sponsors benefit from market sentiment on topics that are relevant to their solutions as well as the positive experiences they have given to their participants - helping to progress current business opportunities should they exist.
Since the pandemic we have moved these roundtable events online. Whilst they lack the benefits of meeting and working with others in person (including the drinks and canapes we serve afterwards!), virtual roundtables are easier to implement, participants don’t need to travel and there are no expensive venue or catering costs.
Take a look at some of the participant feedback (consistently averaging between 80% and 90%) from past events at TechPros.io.
"I am impressed by the structure and openness of the participants in sharing their views on the much needed topic during these challenging times addressing employee engagement, digitization and empathy - 10/10
Manikandesh Venkatachalam, Senior Vice President - Industry Leader Travel, Transportation & Hospitality at Mindtree
"A thought-provoking experience with tangible ideas of how to overcome a real challenge within our business, both for the now and in the future. It was beneficial to know that you were not on your own, with participants relating to the challenges that you were trying to overcome - 9/10
Alistair Cochrane, Chief Development Officer at Whistl UK Ltd