Networking during a roundtable discussion is an often overlooked yet vital component of event marketing strategies. Roundtable discussions offer a structured and topic-focused atmosphere that enables professionals looking to establish meaningful relationships in their industry.
Yet, the formal and often intense environment can make even the most seasoned event marketing attendee apprehensive about initiating connections. Establish meaningful interactions that go beyond mere pleasantries by incorporating the simple B2B networking techniques listed in the article below.
7 Steps To Network and Build Connections During A Roundtable Discussion
Networking in the context of a roundtable discussion is an essential part of your event marketing strategy. But how can you maximise this unique opportunity to expand your network and add value to your in-person and virtual event marketing goals? The section below outlines 7 simple steps to help you leverage event marketing efforts towards your favour.
Step 1: Enter with confidence
Your entrance sets the tone for the entire discussion. Initiate eye contact, offer a firm handshake, and introduce yourself briefly but warmly. Your body language and initial demeanour are your first event marketing tools; use them wisely to make a strong impression immediately and naturally attract relevant B2B customers and partners.
Step 2: Exchange contact information
Don’t wait until the end of the discussion to exchange contact information. During pre-discussion mingling sessions or a momentary pause, take the opportunity to pass out or collect business cards. Consider connecting on LinkedIn immediately via your mobile devices for virtual event marketing gatherings. Immediate exchange ensures you’re not just another face in the crowd but someone proactive and engaged.
Step 3: Share unique insights
A roundtable discussion is an excellent event marketing platform for showcasing your expertise without a hard sell. When it’s your turn to speak, share unique insights and offer a new perspective. The value you provide here directly reflects the value you bring to your industry and, by extension, to any relationship with sales prospects and partners.
Step 4: Seek support or advice
The calibre of your questions can distinguish you just as much as the insights you share. Well-framed questions stimulate discussion and open the door for others to share valuable information. Ask questions that delve deeper into the subject matter and invite nuanced answers rather than yes-or-no responses to enrich the discussion and position you as someone genuinely engaged in understanding the event marketing topic at hand.
Step 5: Secure an accessible venue
Roundtable discussions often include experts and leaders in the B2B marketing field. Don’t hesitate to seek their opinion regarding challenges in your event marketing endeavours. Be specific in your query to elicit actionable guidance. This is a two-fold win; you gain expert advice and also create the foundation for a relationship that could be mutually beneficial in the long run.
Step 6: Showcase your passion
Passion resonates. Let your enthusiasm shine through when discussing your work or viewpoints. Your excitement during the event marketing roundtable can be infectious, making other executives more receptive to connecting with you. This is often where the most robust professional connections are made—through the shared zeal for a particular topic or initiative.
Step 7: Listen actively
Active listening is just as critical as speaking. It not only shows respect for other participants but also provides you with invaluable insights. Pay attention to both the content and the underlying emotions or motivations of the speaker. In doing so, you are armed with the nuances you need for a more meaningful follow-up conversation to grow your B2B marketing strategy.
How to Facilitate a Roundtable Discussion
Beyond merely attending a roundtable discussion, taking on the facilitator role of an in-person or virtual event marketing strategy offers opportunities to enhance your personal and professional brand. The role of the facilitator is unique; it allows you to steer the conversation and engage with each participant, setting the stage for robust relationships and strategic partnerships. The following section will guide you in successfully facilitating a roundtable discussion.
Prepare before the event
Prior to the event, familiarise yourself with the participants and their areas of expertise. Draft a list of topics and questions to keep the conversation flowing and ensure your event marketing effort stays relevant. Doing so will help you steer the discussion effectively and position you as a well-informed leader, increasing the likelihood that attendees will want to connect with you.
Engage on social media
Social media engagement helps attendees see you as accessible and proactive to enhance your networking potential. Start building connections with participants before the event through social media platforms like LinkedIn. A simple connection request or a message indicating that you’re looking forward to the discussion can go a long way in establishing initial rapport.
Though you’re the facilitator, active participation is crucial. Utilise your well-prepared questions to spark interesting discussions and interject with your viewpoints where relevant. Doing so is especially during virtual event marketing efforts to create a multi-dimensional interaction that allows you to network as an individual, not just as a moderator, and attract participants who resonate with your viewpoints.
Establish strong rapport
Your role as a facilitator makes you the pivot around which the discussion revolves. Use this position to establish a strong rapport with each participant. A well-placed compliment on a compelling argument or a brief touch upon someone’s expertise can personalise your event marketing interactions, even post-event conversations.
Network during breaks
If the event allows for short breaks, utilise these interludes as networking goldmines by engaging with attendees individually. Short, one-on-one interactions during breaks can be the starting point for deeper professional connections. Discuss matters brought up during the event marketing discussion or introduce new topics that could be of mutual interest.
Initiate Follow-Up Conversations
Your job as a facilitator continues even after the discussion does. Capture the essence of the roundtable by initiating follow-up conversations. Whether it’s a thank-you email, a LinkedIn message, or setting up a meeting for further discussions, your active follow-up efforts will solidify your place in the B2B markets and the connections you made during your event marketing strategy.
Host a Roundtable Discussion with The Ortus Club
Navigating the intricacies of a roundtable discussion requires more than just showing up; it demands a strategic approach, whether you are an attendee or a facilitator. By implementing the guidelines outlined above, you set the groundwork for enhancing your networking techniques and elevating your event marketing strategies.
Remember, every interaction at a roundtable discussion is a potential catalyst for growth. If you’re looking to take your seat in an executive roundtable discussion, consider partnering with The Ortus Club.
By attending or facilitating events through The Ortus Club, you benefit from the curated topics and high-calibre participants. You can also rely on their expertise in creating environments conducive to meaningful dialogue and networking, even during virtual event marketing platforms. Work with The Ortus Club today for productive discussions and invaluable connections that could propel you and your business to new heights.