5 Benefits of Using Roundtable Format in Video | LAI Video

Five Benefits of Using the Roundtable Format in Video


Roundtable videos have been trending upwards for years and have taken their place among the preferred formats for filming. As seen in HBOs The Shop and the countless Zoom cast reunions throughout the pandemic, the roundtable format moves away from the traditional and sometimes formal talking head interviews. By bringing together a small group of personalities with distinct perspectives, the conversations can just as comprehensive as they are unexpected and raw. 

Having produced quite a few roundtables for our clients, the LAI Video team has outlined the main benefits of using this format:

1. A Meaningful Way to Capture Multiple Perspectives

While the standard talking head and question-and-answer formats are great for capturing one persons complete, uninterrupted thought, theres the potential for the content to feel limited or worse — less than objective. With the roundtable format, viewers get the opportunity to take in multiple sides of an issue and may even identify with specific sentiments and say, “I get where that guy is coming from.”

For this collaboration with Share Our Strength and its No Kid Hungry initiative, we honored the CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group and founder of Shake Shack, Danny Meyer. The ensemble of celebrity chefs contributed their unique experiences with the man and the myth.

2. More Conversational in Nature

Roundtables are a method for knowledge sharing, collaboration, and feedback that plays out more naturally on camera and has the potential to be more engaging for viewers.

As part of our targeted extension of the DC Public Schools’ #ReopenStrong campaign, we organized a group of Spanish speaking students, teachers and community members to freely share their thoughts and concerns with students returning to school in the fall. The forum was less structured by design, prompting candid remarks from the participants that may have never been featured in a scripted PSA.

3. Allows for the Utilization of a Moderator

The roundtable format offers the opportunity to enlist a strong moderator to not only facilitate the conversation, but also enhance the brand of a particular individual or organization. Presented as the master convener, he or she should be well-researched on the subject matter, as well as adept at creating a safe space where all panelists have equal opportunity to participate.

Working with CEO Update and its signature Association Leadership Awards, we produced a series of short videos that came from one moderated conversation with that year’s awardees. CEO Update Director Mark Graham hosted the conversations, skillfully engaging with the three participants to give them each “a moment,” while also putting the talent at ease with icebreaker conversations about winning the lottery or their favorite 80s band.

4. More Intimate Format Encourages Participation

Roundtables can also break down any hierarchies within a group so that the participants feel comfortable voicing their opinions and speaking to one another as equals. People are more likely to add to or challenge each other’s opinions in this more dynamic setting, as opposed to in a series of isolated, individual interviews.

Working with DC Public Schools and its Standing Ovation Awards for Education Excellence, we honored that year’s recipients of the Chancellor’s Award in a virtual group conversation that was moderated and, yes, “Zoom bombed” by the Chancellor himself, Dr. Lewis Ferebee. The exclusive access to the superintendent was not only for praise — the roundtable doubled as an earnest conversation for Dr. Ferebee to hear the challenges of his colleagues.

5. Can be Captured for Both In-Person and Virtual Formats

The roundtable format does not need to happen on a stage or large studio space. It can be filmed virtually anywhere conversations take place, including — well, virtually.   

At the beginning of the COVID-19, when filming in-person was not feasible, we hosted a virtual conversation with team members from Boldr Strategic Consulting and their client to reminiscent and summarize their work to bring ASAE into the digital age. Perhaps it was all the more fitting that the discussion was virtual, edited and wrapped with compelling motion graphics that positioned this trip down memory lane as an exciting case study in 21st century workflow. 

LAI Video Can Help You Produce Your Next Roundtable

Thinking the roundtable format is the way to go to spread your message or tell your story? Contact us to get started! You can also reach us by: 

  • Filling out the form below
  • Giving us a call at 202-416-4660
  • Emailing us at video@laivideo.com
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