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Round Tables Facilitation And Moderation

A tool in the content creation armoury.

As a workplace strategy consultancy, engaging effectively with our client’s employees is critical and Sapio is our go-to supplier for staff surveys. The process is always stress-free and turnaround times for both building the survey and providing the results data are very quick. I particularly appreciate the way Sapio demonstrate a real concern for quality and frequently make helpful suggestions regarding question formats or raise a query if something doesn’t look right in the question set. I have found them to be unfailingly helpful and responsive and would not hesitate to recommend them.

Judy Gavan
Associate Director

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Audience understanding and branding research to improve customer perceptions – Equans

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Why Round Tables with Sapio?

Round tables are like focus groups, but with more of a dinner party feel. They act as effective insight gathering sessions among targeted individuals who are frequently hard to reach.

The host or moderator of a roundtable discussion needs to be articulate, confident and sufficiently knowledgeable about the subject area to ask informed questions and know how to follow up on interesting themes while letting conversation flow. Good facilitators don’t dominate, but encourage an interactive discussion that involves all the participants so people feel valued and included. In our experience less extroverted people often provide the most considered and insightful thoughts. Ultimately, using our emotional intelligence, we:

  • Tease out themes and patterns in the discussion.
  • Involve less confident individuals.
  • Deter over zealous members and keep the discussion moving in a relaxed but purposeful way.
  • Identify the insight that really makes a difference.

This is why Sapio works regularly on facilitated events in the B2B environment.  We’ve hosted sessions on: Supply Chain Management, Digital Transformation, Shifts in the Retail market, Cloud, Security, The Office Fit Out market, Gender Diversity and Photography to name but a few.

How do they work?

Round tables usually consist of a dozen or so knowledgeable individuals discussing topics of interest to them and the sponsor, guided by a skilled moderator. The moderator can be an expert in the field but often being “innocent” and skilled in the art of facilitation can lead to a far more open and insightful discussion. Being innocent means you have no preconceptions, prejudices or ego.

Round tables can be limited to just those around the table or be opened up for viewing by a wider audience but, generally “Chatham House Rules” apply and we’ve used them in a variety of ways:

  • As additions to conference, event or exhibition agendas, enabling delegates to contribute to proceedings, while also learning from their peers, perhaps discussing best-practice.
  • To provide insight for thought leadership pieces by identifying, defining and clarifying issues.
  • As part of a campaign or initiative that is being run to promote debate, secure engagement and change perceptions. 

What do they deliver?

The thought provoking debate that develops provides excellent content for whitepapers, blogs, opinion pieces etc. but, they’re also a great way of launching whitepapers. People who helped form the Point Of View (POV), or even academics appreciate being invited to the launch and can become part of the development process.

The nature of the events can be an excellent showcase for a sponsor’s brand as it’s associated with thought leading and thought provoking discussions.  The sponsor can either participate or watch discussions quietly from a far but whichever it’s a great relationship building and business development opportunity.

Why do people want to take part?

From the participant’s point of view, it’s a highly-valued networking opportunity. This has considerable appeal, even for the more self-conscious among us, and can also earn CPD points.

Contact us to find out how we can bring your brand and insight gathering process to life.

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