Virtual roundtables provide companies with an innovative new way to bring participants together to hold meaningful discussions or debates on any topic. That’s why getting that topic right is so crucial to set strong foundations for your event. Roundtable topics will impact everything, from attendance at your virtual event to attendee participation to the outcomes you achieve.
Virtual roundtable topic ideas can vary widely. It’s up to your organization to choose ideal topics. But you can also gain inspiration from asking yourself these four questions. Ask them when you’re ready to plan your next virtual roundtable discussion.
1—Are there customer-related issues our company needs to solve through a virtual group discussion?
When considering virtual roundtable topic ideas, you should think about your business challenges and goals. It’s important to tailor your discussion to the most pressing issues that pertain to your organization, so you can use the feedback or drive action to improve your business performance.
For example, are there any questions that have been raised recently and need to be addressed immediately? Or has there been a change in your customer-facing business model that you feel needs to be discussed in greater depth?
Anything could trigger new concerns within your organization that have the potential to undermine your stability — from world events to major shake-ups in management to struggles reaching business goals. Discussions might center around the company’s stance on current developments making headlines in the news or a change in the future goals and direction and how that will impact how you do business and how your customers respond to the changes.
2—What topics will be the most useful for exchanging new information in depth?
Topics for your virtual roundtables should be carefully chosen to fit the specific modality. Remember how it differs from other strategies in the marketing mix, like polls, research studies or webinars. Virtual roundtables should allow for in-depth discussions in an intimate group setting of strategically selected attendees, to facilitate richer engagement, deeper insights, and stronger relationships.
Ideally, you should aim to cover topics that can’t easily be addressed in other ways. Typically, virtual roundtables are used to address deep issues that need a more informed outcome. But also they need to be interesting enough to attract a group of people who want to talk about the topics.
That’s a lot to consider, so let’s put theory into practice. For example, when gathering a group of participants to discuss customer experience-related issues, common roundtable discussion topics could include:
- What are some innovative ways being used to improve customer experience?
- How much of an impact do customer experience programs really have in driving customer growth?
- What happens if we ignore customer experience?
- What best practices are there in launching a cohesive customer experience strategy?
- What are the differences between virtual and in-person customer experience?
- What will customer experience look like in 10 years?
You can see that these topics warrant deeper explanations from each participant. Questions make room for debate, opinion, inner beliefs and anecdotes, to derive qualitative answers that are not readily observable.
3—What topics will be the most interesting for your participants and help inspire them to engage in a dialogue?
It’s imperative that your participants identify with the topic. Likely, these kinds of participants are experts in the field, or perfectly fit the target persona. If you are limited by your existing contact list, a great way to ensure you hit the nail on the head with this targeting is to work together with a lead generation vendor.
For example, B2B demand generation agencies like ViB can help to connect you with highly-specific customer profiles, with as much granularity as in a request like “C-level executives from cloud security companies with 200+ employees”.
And once you’ve finalized your attendee list, don’t be afraid to dig even deeper. nYou can invite your roundtable participants to submit topics they would like to see addressed. Send an email to participants with questions such as:
- Are there any questions or concerns you’d like to see address in a virtual discussion?
- Do you have a new idea that you’d love to share with the company address?
You’ll likely get some novel ideas and a better idea of how to interact with them on event day, plus build anticipation so they show up inspired!
4—Are there any fun topics you can bring to a virtual roundtable discussion to liven things up?
Every virtual roundtable topic idea doesn’t have to be serious. The discussion topics can also be fun. Lighter topics can be very engaging as well as provide valuable insight.
One of the great things about hosting a virtual roundtable discussion is that you can be as creative as you want to be. Fun topics have the advantage of ensuring your participants will be fully engaged and energized by a lively, entertaining, and productive discussion.
Once you have chosen the topic for your next virtual roundtable session, consider giving the meeting a catchy name. A clever name can help raise the interest level and set the intention for a more dynamic exchange of ideas.
Make an impact with your next virtual roundtable
With the right virtual roundtable topics, you can generate lively conversations and get true value from your events. Whatever topics you choose for your next virtual roundtable discussions, make sure you cover all the important points. Create a basic agenda in advance so you have a plan to guide your events, including who is going to speak and when. If you need more guidance, read this step-by-step list of virtual roundtable best practices to bulletproof your event.
Also, ensure you have the best possible platform to support your virtual roundtable discussions. For example, ViB’s Virtual Networking Forum can help you run better meetings. What’s more, it provides support tools for generating virtual roundtable topic ideas through a menu of common meeting discussion ideas and by allowing participants to submit topics.