Every monthly forum meeting typically has a section dedicated to either a deep dive or a roundtable discussion. While some forums make space for both of them to happen in the same meeting, it usually is tough to do both unless you extend the meeting past three hours. Because most forms have to pick between these two options, it’s important to understand how they differ.
A deep dive is intended for one person to dig into one issue they are facing and get feedback from the group. There are many formats for a deep dive presentation, such as feedback, brainstorming, or debate. While everyone tends to gain something from a deep dive, even if it’s not their issue, the majority of the value tends to be gained by the one person presenting.
A roundtable discussion involves the group digging a topic relevant to everyone. Topics that are picked for a round table are not necessarily issues everyone is facing, which is the case for a deep dive. During a roundtable discussion, everyone participates by providing value on the topic while also learning from everyone else in the group. Some examples of roundtable topics might be best hiring practices, tax strategies, effective health habits, or parenting tips.
As I mentioned in the beginning, some forums do both of these during their monthly session, and some choose to do only one. A best practice for healthy forums is to pre-schedule who and what will happen at the future meetings. This way everyone knows when they will have a chance to dig deep into an issue they face, or everyone has an opportunity to prepare for a roundtable topic.
Done right, both of these add a massive amount of value to a Forum monthly meeting.