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SMEI Roundtable Discussion Kit

Ready-made handouts to lead a provocative discussion as an educational SMEI group event.


  • Every SMEI member should have access to informative peer- sharing sessions.
  • Highly effective in retaining members by creating content rich knowledge sharing forums that build loyalty and repeat engagement.

How to Begin

  1. Pick a roundtable topic based on the SMEI Master Editorial Calendar.
  2. Announce the roundtables through meeting notices, social media, etc. and be sure to submit your selection and location details to the SMEI office using the web form provided. By matching your event with the SMEI Master Event Calendar, your event and members will benefit from SMEIs digital marketing and related web events around the same topic(s).
  3. Locate a corporate sponsor that will provide suitable space and complimentary refreshments.  We recommend a boardroom or suitable meeting space that will accomodate 15 - 20 people.
  4. When attendees register for the roundtable, they will receive a confirmation email along with an electronic copy of questions that will be used during the session.

Your  Role  As Moderator

As the moderator, you, more than anyone else, will set the emotional tone for the entire session. Start out with an air of expectancy. Anticipate a great exchange of information for the benefit of participants. They will sense this and it will be reflected in their participation and ideas. Avoid being the "answer man/woman”. You will undoubtedly be dealing with topics you are very knowledgeable in–but avoid the trap! Top facilitators always launch topics by asking a question and then avoid providing their own answers for the first 15-20 minutes this ensures active participation by all.

The moderator should do all he/she can to surface the knowledge possessed by the participants and to keep them on the subject at hand.

Steps To Success

  1. Encourage involvement from "listeners” by allowing each participant a 30 second introduction.
  2. Recognize the sponsor/host.
  3. Next, have each participant state the topics they would like to see covered.
  4. Launch the first 1-2 questions by having each person give their thoughts/opinions on it. This expected up front involvement will turn everyone into an active participant.
  5. After the first 15 minutes, the conversation will take a natural life of its own and you will no longer have to worry about participation by all.
  6. Never put a participants answer down. This will only "turn-off” the discussion.
  7. Launch new questions whenever the previous one has been exhausted.
  8. will be a great event.
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