Chair, business and tech events

I’ve chaired business and science events including panel discussions, round tables and interviews

D uring my time as editor of South West Business Insider, I chaired round-table discussions, panel debates and on-stage interviews with business leaders. I’ve also interviewed academic experts on-stage at RE•WORK tech events.

Round-table discussions

These typically involved 10-12 people around a table, discussing different aspects of a single topic.

The main task as the chairperson is to make everyone comfortable, to encourage debate, and ensure everyone has the opportunity to contribute. Afterwards, I would write a summary of the event to publish in the magazine or online.

Panel discussions

Held in front of an audience of 60-80 people, breakfast panel discussions featured five or six speakers — typically business owners, managing directors and professionals.

My job was to ask questions of the panellists, individually and collectively, and then open up the discussion to audience questions. My preparation included researching the topic, writing a script, and briefing speakers.

Selected Insider panels:

RE•WORK panel:

AI & Robotics Innovation Forum (London)

 

Interviews

A couple of events I chaired were slightly different in that the interviews I conducted on stage were as much about the people as business matters.

It was essential not only to find out about the person’s life and career but to check the information with them beforehand. It’s amazing how often facts in the public domain can be wrong, and also how quickly things change — when companies are growing fast, last year’s turnover and profit figures are quickly superseded. These are the events, with the interviewees listed:

 

Insider 42 under 42, 2017

Interviews on entrepreneurship with Heather Frankham (Whiteoaks Capital) and Chris Morling (money.co.uk).

RE•WORK Cities Summit, 2014

Interviews on smart cities with Mikele Brack (Pivotal Innovations) and Duncan Wilson (Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Connected Cities).

RE•WORK Technology Summit, 2014

Interview on next-generation virtual assistants: Chris Brauer (Goldsmiths, University of London).

RE•WORK Technology Summit, 2013

Interviews on the future of robotics with Jamie Paik (EPFL), Nick Hawes (University of Birmingham).