Published March 18, 2020
What are Virtual Roundtables? What are the Benefits?
Networking and building relationships at physical B2B events is a proven method to boost your sales pipeline. For many businesses, it has always held grave importance in their marketing strategy. For coronavirus to have the devastating impact it’s had on physical events. It was imperative an alternative was found. Step-forward Virtual Roundtables.
What are Virtual Roundtables?
Virtual Roundtables are thought-leadership discussions between senior corporate leaders using video conferencing technology. They offer a digital alternative to physical business events and roundtable networking dinners. Virtual Roundtables help professionals to identify actionable solutions to their key challenges without the need to leave their home or office.
Produced by Inspired Business Media, these immersive 90 or 100-minute sessions are a flexible and convenient way for business executives to discuss the latest trends affecting their job roles. Each discussion is hosted by an industry-leading solution provider and invites five senior decision-makers to share their insights and knowledge on a key topic of interest. The digital format allows professionals to join the conversation from any location using their mobile, tablet or computer.
Virtual Roundtables enable thought-provoking discussions for business leaders across several sectors such as Information Security, Information Technology, Digital Marketing, Facilities Management, Corporate Real Estate, Human Resources and Learning and Development. Each recorded session gathers valuable data for the participants to use in their ongoing business research, through live polling and interactive Q&A.
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What are the Benefits?
The key benefits of Virtual Roundtables include:
- Flexible and convenient
Senior executives can connect to a Virtual Roundtable from any location. While attending a business conference usually requires a full day out of the office, 90 or 100-minute Virtual Roundtables session can be conveniently scheduled around other commitments.
- No need to travel
Recent events including national flooding and the global coronavirus outbreak have shown that travelling to an event is not always possible. Virtual Roundtables ensure valuable business conversations can continue as normal throughout travel restrictions, social distancing, transport difficulties and other unforeseen circumstances.
- Time and cost-efficient
Virtual Roundtables enable senior executives to address their key business challenges more efficiently, gaining insight and solutions from an industry leader without the time and resources usually spent on research.
- Connect with a global executive network
With no limit to the distance between participants, Virtual Roundtables make it possible to connect with business leaders from anywhere in the world. The digital sessions bring together senior decision-makers that may not have had the opportunity to meet in person, widening their professional network.
- Provides data for business research
Virtual Roundtable sessions use live polling and interactive Q&A to gather important research data for each participant. Executives can also re-connect with their new contacts after the session, continuing the discussions as they move forward with their projects.
What are the Different Types of Virtual Roundtables?
There are two different types of Virtual Roundtables. Whether you are sponsoring the event, moderating the discussion or joining the panel discussion as a thought leader. It’s important to understand both concepts before making a decision.
In this article, we will focus on the private format and the live (open webinar) format.
Private Virtual Roundtables
Private Virtual Roundtables allow participants to engage in thought-leadership discussions without the stress of revealing sensitive business information to their competitors. Each private B2B event includes an industry solution-provider, an experienced thought-leader moderator and four qualified and targeted business executives. It’s routine, attending business executives meet the criteria provided by the solution-provider. This includes Job Title, Industry, Company Size and Geographic Location. This ensures participants are suited to one another and the overall agenda.
The agenda and talking points are devised by the solution-provider and the moderator at the start of the campaign period. This ensures the 100-minute session is best spent discussing relevant and present projects, challenges and trends. To further prepare solution providers for the conversation, prior to the event they receive a detailed research document on each attendee. Private Virtual Roundtables are recorded but only for those participants who wish to see it, there is a strict policy to prevent sharing it any further.
This format is recommended to organisations and individuals primarily seeking but not limited to network and build relationships with a solution provider and their industry peers. There are then further opportunities beyond the conversation for the solution provider to build on their relationships with attendees. Concurrently supporting their sales pipeline.
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Virtual Roundtables Live
This open webinar type format is for business professionals wishing to engage in thought-leadership discussions with an audience. Similar to the private alternative, Virtual Roundtables include an experienced moderator, an industry solution-provider but now three criteria qualified executives. Similarly, attending business executives must meet criteria based on Job Title, Industry, Company Size and Geographic Location. Again, ensuring participants are suited to the roundtable discussion.
Since Virtual Roundtables Live is webinar-styled, the 90-minute discussion is live-streamed and publicised to a targeted audience. Thus, providing participants with a platform to build their personal and corporate brand to a relevant audience. Much like private Virtual Roundtables, the agenda and talking points are constructed by the moderator and the solution-provider. Ensuring the conversation is driven and tailored to both the participants and the audience. To maximise reach, each Virtual Roundtable Live is edited post-event, renewed into an on-demand video and podcast and marketed to our network and on social media for several weeks.
For Virtual Roundtables Live, we recommend this format to organisations and individuals wanting to add further brand exposure as well as building relationships with fellow participants. The hosting solution-providers receives the contact information for all subscribed users of the session. Thus, expanding their reach beyond the roundtable participants.
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