Roundtable Guidelines


Roundtable discussion opportunities will be offered the last morning of the Conference during the buffet breakfast period. These informal sessions allow for discussions among a small group. Roundtables offer unique opportunities for learning and professional exchange, are excellent venues for giving and receiving targeted feedback, promote engaging in-depth discussions, and facilitate meeting colleagues with similar interests.

We wish to build on the strengths of the roundtable format and offer the following guidelines to assist you in preparing and presenting a roundtable.

Roundtable host application period had ended.


There is to no charge to host a roundtable. One only need to be a registered attendee of the Conference to apply, and if accepted, to host a roundtable. Accepted hosts will be asked to confirm they will participate in all aspects of the roundtable presentations, pay the conference registration fee and abide by all deadlines given by the 2013 Childhood Obesity Conference organizers.


June 20, 2013

8:00 – 9:30 a.m. Buffet Breakfast Served
8:20 – 8:50 a.m. 1st Session
8:55 – 9:25 a.m. 2nd Session


Roundtable sessions would consist of selected topics being presented at two back-to-back 30-minute sessions; beginning with a short oral presentation followed by discussion and feedback. Roundtable presenters should bring targeted questions to pose to others at the table in order to learn from and with those attending. Roundtables provide an ideal format for networking and in-depth discussion on a particular topic.

Roundtables examples:

Roundtables are not suitable for:

What does a roundtable session look like? When you walk into the exhibit hall, you will see a group of tables with 8-10 chairs each identified by a number on a stand in the center of the table.  When the session begins, the presenter offers their presentation to those seated at their table. Each presenter is in charge of his or her 30 minute presentation, but most will include an extended discussion component with ample time for questions.

Visual aids: Roundtables do not have traditional audio-visual aids available, but most roundtable presenters bring handouts illustrating their work. Roundtables are excellent venues for getting targeted feedback, engaging in in-depth discussions, and meeting colleagues with similar interests. They are not an appropriate format for presenters that anticipate more than 15 people in attendance.

Preparation: Although roundtables rely heavily on discussion, this does not negate the need for advance preparation. You should develop the presentation portion of your session and practice it until you are comfortable sharing your thoughts and ideas.

Handouts: Bring 10 copies of all materials that you wish to share with session attendees. Be sure to include your contact information on the first page to encourage follow-up.

Questions: While your attendees may be eager with questions, it is useful to have one or two prepared questions ready that you can use, if needed, to stimulate the discussion. Questions need not only be for you as the presenter, they may also be directed to the attendees at the session, encouraging their participation, feedback, and the sharing of lessons learned.

At the session: This is your time to shine! You have practiced and you are ready to share your knowledge and expertise:

Insider tip: If you have only a few attendees, take advantage of the opportunity to have each person briefly introduce him-or herself so that you may identify connections and encourage exchange, among those in attendance.

Troubleshoot: One of the most difficult challenges in planning for a roundtable session is that they are, by definition, meant to accommodate a small audience around a single table. Occasionally, larger audiences show up. Encourage attendees to attend the second session of the roundtable, pull up chairs, including borrowing from another table if space allows, and to share materials if needed.

Post-conference: After the event is over, you likely will receive emails or calls from those who heard, or heard of, your presentation. This is an opportunity to build your professional network and sustain the field through collegial exchange. Where appropriate, you may want to ask those inquiring about their work to see how it might mesh with your own in ways that could be advantageous to you both.

Insider tip: If you have materials that you know multiple people would likely appreciate receiving, you may want to create a sign-up sheet to pass around at the session. In this way, you can send one follow-up email to the multiple attendees rather than multiple individual ones, each with the same information.

You may apply for a Roundtable Discussion as part of your conference registration.