Sunday, September 15

5:00 to 7:00 PM

@ Iroquois Park

The Big Table - How to Host 

If you have questions or need assistance, locate an event organizer. We have balloons tied to us. 

The Essentials: 
- Orient yourself to your table and materials.
- Help people find seats. Disperse groups between tables.
- Eat great food and play conversation game.
- Ask: What happened that was meaningful?  
- Take Survey.
- Introduce Civic Dinners.
- Take photos and hashtag #TheBigTable502
- Help clean up. Take down table and chairs.

Step 1 - (4:15 to 4:45 pm) Orientation and Preparation 

  • Choose a table. They are not pre-assigned.
  • Meet other table hosts in your area.
  • Make a name tag and orient yourself with your materials (i.e., Conversation Cards, surveys, Civic Dinners flier).
  • Find your area’s food table (i.e., plates, napkins, utensils and ingredient cards).
  • Locate the closest trash and recycling bins. 
  • Locate the closest pallet for your tables and chairs at the end of the event. 
  • Organize the Louisville Conversation Cards
  • We will begin by using the first section of the deck of Louisville Conversation Cards. Take this section out from the box, which contains 30 cards. Divide the cards into three separate piles according to color.  Each pile should have 10 cards.  Green cards are ice-breaker questions. Yellow cards are topics that lead to deeper conversations. Purple cards are the most intimate.
  • We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the whole box of cards. Our goal is to get the cards out into our community at restaurants, coffee shops, and bars as a tool to encourage deeper conversation.  For a $20 donation, participants can keep the box of cards. The donation will go to support conversation projects, like the Civic Dinners program (see flier). 


Step 2 – (4:45 to 5:15 pm) Welcome Guests 

  • Work with other table hosts to create diverse tables. Split large groups, at participants’ level of comfort, into smaller groups at other tables. 
  • Place food brought by participants on the center food table. 
  • If there are less than five people at your table, you may combine with another table in your area.  
  • Have participants fill out name tags and ingredient cards, as needed. (Place ingredient cards alongside the food dish at food table.)


Step 3 – (5:15 to 5:30 pm) Fill Plates 

  • Once your table is mostly full, invite guests to fill plates from the area food table and return. 


Step 4 – (5:30 to 6:30 pm) Eat and Share Stories 

  • As participants begin eating, explain the conversation cards that will be used for storytelling and sharing. You may read this script: 
  • “On the table in front of us are our new, exciting, fabulous Louisville Conversation Cards, which are designed to spark interesting conversation in our group here and across our community.  (You may want to show the whole box and let them know we are trying to get these boxes in restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and other places where people gather for conversation.) AND, for a donation of $20, made at the Registration Table where you entered, you can take a box home.
  • “The cards are divided into three piles based on the level of sharing.  Each pile should have 10 cards.  Green cards (level 1) are ice-breaker questions. The questions on yellow cards (level 2) go a little deeper and questions on the purple cards (level 3) are the most in-depth.  You can choose from whichever pile you are most comfortable. 
  • “I will start and we will go around the circle clockwise with each person choosing and answering a different question. We encourage your responses be no more than three minutes. During the first round, we do not encourage follow-up questions or cross talk.  After the round is over and everyone has shared, you may ask follow-up questions and make connections with others.  We will go through as many rounds as time allows.”
  • If your table has time for further rounds, encourage participants to go a little deeper in their level of sharing. Often after the second or third round, participants are ready to connect with one another without needing the cards.  
  • Please remind participants to keep the sharing to less than three minutes. 
  • Encourage and support everyone’s participation, especially if there are children at the table. They may want to draw their answer on the table cover. 
  • Encourage participants to be mindful of the time and to keep their sharing to an appropriate length. Please leave 20 minutes for closing. 


Step 5 – (6:30 to 6:50 pm) Closing 

  • Close the story-sharing time by giving everyone a moment to reflect on the question, “What was meaningful that happened this evening?” Ask participants to share their answer aloud if they are comfortable. You may need to encourage comments to be limited to one or two minutes, depending on time constraints. 
  • Distribute the Civic Dinners fliers, and please pull up the website on your own phone to give your table a preview. Encourage everyone to host or attend a dinner! 
  • Distribute the surveys. Please return completed surveys in the envelope. This is important to help us create more meaningful events and to stay connected to participants. 
  • Conversation Cards - Help us get the Louisville Conversation Cards into our community.  The box of cards can be purchased for a $20 donation. All proceeds will go to support future Big Table events.  Participants can make their donation at the registration tables where they entered. 


Step 6 - (6:50 to 7:00 pm) Group Photo and Clean-up 

  • Ask another table host in your area take a photo of your group (if participants are willing).
  • Send photo to cathy.berkey@gmail.com to share on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) using the hashtag #TheBigTable502).
  • Orient participants to the trash and recycling bins. Retrieve dishes and serving utensils from your area food table. 
  • Ask participants to fold table and chairs and stack on the nearest pallets on the side of the road.
  • Invite participants to join one of the three post-dinner jam sessions. The drumming circle will be located in the grassy area south of amphitheater, near the parking lot.  The singing circle will be located in front of the pavilion to the right of the amphitheater. The instrument circle will be near the north entrance to The Big Table by the playground. 
  • Return all hosting materials, especially the Conversation Cards, to the event organizers stationed at the two entrances. We have helium balloons tied to us.