This template comes with everything you need to organize your roundtable events. There are placeholders for you to add an agenda, and vote for topics the participants are interested in discussing. This doc makes it easier to coordinate a remotely distributed group of participants and provides a way for them to actively participate throughout the entire session.
What is a roundtable event?
Roundtable events (or ‘roundtable discussions’, as they’re often referred to) are not a new concept, but new challenges arise when you need to move from an in-person version of these events to virtual ones.
This type of gathering, in fact, has its roots in higher-level education as a form of academic discussion, where a specific topic is chosen beforehand, and everyone is given an (equal) opportunity to participate in the discussion or debate (which explains why these are referred to as ‘roundtables’).
Business and technology leaders are starting to see the value of the roundtable format. At Coda, we recently invited technology leaders to a ‘virtual Braintrust dinner’ where we shared a meal and drinks (shipped to guest in advance) and discussed topics such as strategy, planning, and company culture. Whether it’s in-person or virtual, any gathering with food and drink always seems to create that warm and welcoming experience that’s conducive for more openness and connections.
Successful roundtable events, however, require more than just a nice meal or glass of wine. There are several other characteristics that help make these events more effective:
One, key topic to focus on and a clear agenda to follow.
A good moderator and facilitator who is well-informed on the topic, ensures all perspectives are heard, and is able to keep the discussion on-track and on-time.
Good note-taking to capture observations, reflections, and highlights.
What’s included in this template
An Agenda with main session topics, bios, and attendee profile photos
An interactive Topic Suggestion & Voting feature
A tool for capturing everyone’s individual observations & reflections
Meeting Notes for the host to organize key takeaways
Optional Gmail integration for automatic email drafts of the notes to send to all participants
Make a copy of this template for each new event.
Delete this page by hovering over the ‘Introduction’ page in the side menu, then selecting the three (’more’) dots or right-clicking, then selecting ‘Delete’.
Replace any sample text and participant information in this template with our own event details.
Make a new copy of this doc
Additional Information and Resources (click arrow for more)
Roundtable discussions are familiar in the academic world. In fact, a number of top academic institutions across the United States have been hosting such ‘
’ for the last 18 years—which originated amidst the Five Colleges in Amherst, MA.
In recent years, however, there appears to be a renewed hunger, especially in the technology and business industries, for participation in events and gatherings where knowledge sharing and human connections occur. Roundtable events are such events. We live in a time when there’s more information available and accessible than ever and we’re recognizing the value of connecting and sharing what we have with others.