Are you planning on gathering global industry professionals for a business meeting? Then a virtual roundtable is the right choice for you. Today, the b2b and b2c online interactions and collaborations are best supported by virtual roundtable meetings. This is one way to gather like-minded individuals under one roof. Everything happens over the internet and does not require business officials, employees or consumers to travel down to places. This approach is both time-saving and economical while contributing to the green environment.
In this text, we will be discussing the significance, purpose and strategies of setting up a virtual roundtable. Follow the mentioned set of virtual roundtable best practices to streamline networking and communications with business professionals in an interactive and engaging online environment.
What are Virtual Roundtables?
A virtual roundtable gathers individuals in a private space to discuss important industry topics, business reforms, challenges, and b2b networking. It is a custom-designed branded meeting room where a moderator, meeting chairs, and other members participate in a healthy conversation. They get to share ideas, reviews and suggestions on a certain topic and reach a conclusion on mutual agreement. Precisely, virtual roundtable facilities live presentations to discuss business agendas in a meeting, conference, or webinar.
To begin with, partner with a feature-rich virtual roundtable platform that facilities content sharing, online collaboration and live interactions. The visually rich 3D designs and animations display a branded environment for corporations to host their employees, consumers or partners in a personalized space. For example, regular business meetings among remote teams are set up in a branded environment to offer an immersive experience to the attendees.
How Would You Set Up a Virtual Roundtable?
A virtual roundtable is set up in a personalized virtual space, a private meeting room or a hall. It is an interactive and engaging environment designed for professionals, employees and remote teams. Virtual platforms facilitate one-on-one discussions with all the table chairs. Also, top industry trends are further discussed in the presence of a moderator and solution provider. Basically, the entire experience for the audience is immersive as representative avatars present themselves at the roundtable. In addition, it allows sharing and downloading of documents, texts and files.
If you are setting up a virtual roundtable for the first time, then consider partnering with a virtual events platform. The platform is 3D designed customizable environment that offers a seamless experience for the attendees. It is a flexible and convenient option for remote team members who can easily join online and do not have to travel down to places for a business meeting. Moreover, the platform is secure for the corporation to discuss new business agendas, share confidential information and make critical decisions. Plus, it is a time-efficient approach for business professionals.
7 Virtual Roundtable Best Practices
To begin with, follow a set of mentioned virtual roundtable best practices to streamline business networking and discussions among executives and senior decision-makers.
Lookup for a Feature-rich Virtual Platform
The first step toward setting up a virtual roundtable is to look for a platform with a lot to offer. A virtual roundtable meeting works best when hosted on a feature-rich virtual platform. Make sure the platform offers:
- Customizable 3D environment
- Animated virtual walkthroughs
- Branded meeting rooms and halls
- Maximized chat and networking options
- End-to-end encrypted communications
- Multiple screens to share text, graphics and video content
- Branding options with colours and themes
- Multilingual platform
- Live subtitles and captions
- Recorded or live presentations
- Installation of multiple tables
- Company representative avatars
- Gamification options
These specialized features help organizations set up a close-to-reality virtual experience for the table chairs and speakers. Each member of the table easily accesses the virtual platform through login credentials. Plus, the virtual environment is user-friendly and easy to navigate for people accessing it for the first time. But, using the virtual roundtable best practices you can create a successful virtual roundtable conference.
Create a Branded Environment for an Immersive Experience
Do you wish to engage remote teams in private roundtable discussions? A virtual roundtable meeting room is fully customized with your company branding. In fact, the environment is tailored to suit your needs.
- Company logos
In addition, the roundtable has animated avatars representative of each meeting chair, speaker and moderator. This offers an immersive experience for meeting panels joining from different parts of the world.
In the case of a virtual workspace, branded virtual roundtables offer an inclusive experience for the remote teams to network and engage with other team members available online. The personalized environment gives an impression of an actual workplace where everyone meets and greets regularly. Therefore, it is advisable to replicate the entire experience of a physical meeting.
Gather Guest Speakers and Session Chairs
How would you make your virtual roundtable discussions more engaging? In fact, attendees are more engaged in meetings with keynote speeches. Therefore, get influential people to address the roundtable session. This allows table chairs to participate in the discussions and actively comment on the speaker sessions. However, if you wish to enhance the experience for your attendees, then invite prominent guest speakers to the talks. With virtual roundtables, you have the chance to gather international speakers who otherwise could not travel down to chair roundtable sessions. For reference, here’s a list of guest speakers or session chairs that may elevate the roundtable experience.
- Conference keynote speakers
- Motivational keynote speakers
- Webinar speakers
- Corporate wellness speaker
- Virtual keynote speaker
- Global keynote speaker
- Stand-up Comedian
- Teambuilding virtual keynote speaker
At present, corporations enhance the virtual roundtable experience for their attendees by inviting potential keynote speakers and session chairs. These important individuals initiate discussions and gather ideas to reach a decision.
Set a Clear Objective and Meeting Agenda
To ensure the success of your virtual roundtable discussion:
- Make sure you have a clear, actionable objective and meeting agenda
- Share the meeting agenda with all the session chairs
- Walk them all through the session segments, keynote speeches, and agendas
Once you have everyone on the same page, it will be easier to follow the meeting at the scheduled time and make the most out of your discussions.
Let Moderators Guide Speakers and Session Chairs
Most of the people on your guest list may attend a virtual roundtable discussion for the first time. They probably have no prior experience in participating or leading the meeting. For that matter, it is important to provide a navigational tour of the virtual space. Or partner with a virtual events platform that is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Also, the moderators should be responsible for guiding speakers and session chairs alike. Once all are on the same page, working things smoothly with little or no inconvenience is easier. Formally, the moderators guide speakers and session chairs through:
- Relevant materials, content and meeting files
- Initiate conversations with heads-up
- Lineup questions for session chairs
- Engage participants in discussions
- Brief speakers on the meeting agendas
Therefore, the moderators must have sufficient training and guidance to lead the sessions effectively.
Fuel Discussion with Engaging Content and Activities
To ensure the success of your roundtable conference, it is important to fuel discussions with engaging content and activities. Research has shown that 87% of event organizers believe that engagement is the key to the success of virtual meetings. Thus, to top up the experience for the online meeting, keep the roundtable discussions interesting for the participants.
Follow these tried and trusted ideas to keep the session chairs engaged and involved.
- Keep the sessions short
- Break the roundtable meeting into sessions
- Use quality content and make it accessible to everyone
- Use live polls and quizzes
- Initiate Q/A sessions
- Schedule keynote speeches
- Use notifications and alerts to keep them involved
- Allow each chair to take an active part
Devise a Comprehensive Follow Up Plan
The moderator has to take the lead when it comes to supervising the roundtable sessions. A comprehensive plan is devised to keep things in check and follow up on the session’s progress and success.
- Keep checks on non-responders with follow-up messages
- Evaluate event progress with Q/A sessions
- Use surveys to collect feedback
With the correct knowledge of the progress of your event, it is easier to evaluate the success factors. Later, it helps determine which practices worked best for you and which require revision.
Setting up a virtual roundtable is no child’s play. However, with the right technique and practices, a successful virtual meeting can take place. Following the above-mentioned virtual roundtable best practices, businesses can easily gather global industry professionals all in one place. So, plan ahead and employ the following best practices to create a memorable experience for your audiences.
Virtual Days leverage its platform for businesses worldwide to host their roundtable conferences online. It is a powerful approach to strengthening global industry relationships and improving one’s standing within the marketplace.
Author | Mubashrah Rahim