• Table Host Training #216:43

To make this large of an event inviting and accessible to all, we need 250 volunteers to assume the roles of table hosts. A table host will be willing to coordinate the interaction at a single table of eight people. Hosts will guide dialogue and story-telling at their tables using the tools and processes with which they have been provided and made familiar.

Don't be intimidated! We have designed fun and simple processes for helping strangers connect and tell stories.

For more information and instructions, listen to a fifteen minute recorded above.
If you have further questions, contact Jud Hendrix (judhendrix@globalhumanproject.com) or Cathy Berkey (cathy.berkey@gmail.com)


  • Park in the lot north of the Amphitheater (1080 Amphitheater Rd, Louisville, KY 40214)
  • Please arrive at 4:00 PM with your dish, drinks and a blanket (we will use blankets in case we do not have enough tables and chairs)
  • Sign in at the volunteer table and receive your table assignment.


Table Host Instructions

If at any point 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 and talk.
-Ask: What happened that was meaningful?
-Survey (in envelope)
-Photo of group

Step 1 - (4:15 to 4:30) Orientation and Preparation

  • Fill out a nametag and orient yourself to the materials at your seating table (i.e nametags, crayons, story cards, and envelope with surveys)
  • Do the same with your area food table (i.e. plates, napkins, utensils and ingredient cards)
  • Locate the closest trash, recycling and food receptacles and ask where your tables and chairs should be taken when the event is complete.
  • Meet other table hosts and prepare to work together to welcome and greet participants.

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

  • Work with other table hosts to create diverse tables, dividing up large groups at different tables as they are comfortable.
  • Place food brought by participants on the center table.
  • Have participants fill out nametags and fill out ingredient cards.  They can use the crayons on the table to do so.

Step 3 – (5:15 to 5:30) Fix plates

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

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

  • Invite participants to begin eating and explain the conversation game that will be used to invite storytelling and sharing. The conversation game consists of “We Are Louisville” story cards that will be shuffled and randomly selected by participants.  
  • One person selects a card and gives a 2-3 min answer. Take turns going around the table and commenting on the topic. Proceed to the next person.
  • You could start the story sharing time by modeling a 2-3 minute answer.
  • Encourage and support everyone’s participation, especially if there are children at the table.  They may want to draw their answer on the table.
  • 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) 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 write their answer in a phrase on the table covering.  Ask each participant to share their answer if they are comfortable.  You may need to encourage comments to be limited to one or two minutes depending on time constraints.
  • Ask participants to take a brief survey and place them in the envelope provided. This is important to help us create more meaningful events and to stay connected to participants.
  • Ask participants if they would like to offer a donation to offset the costs of hosting The Big Table, and to help create similar events in the future, they can place a donation in the envelope with the surveys.  All proceeds will go to the creation of similar events hosted by We Are Louisville.  The Global Human project is the fiscal sponsor of We Are Louisville and is a non-profit organization. (Please give the envelopes to an event organizer at the end.)

Step - 6 (6:50 to 7:00ish) Group Photo and Cleaning Up

  • Have another Table Host in your area take a group photo with your cameras of your group members, as they are willing.
  • Send photo to cathy.berkey@gmail.com and
  • Share on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) using the hashtag #WeAreLouisville)
  • Encourage participants to exchange contact information if they would like to stay connected and possibly host future small group potlucks!
  • Instruct your participants on how to dispose of their food and paper products in appropriate receptacles and to retrieve their dishes and serving utensils from the area table.

Step – 6 (7:00 to 7:30) Table Host Reflect, Clean-Up and Pack-Up

  • Connect with other Table Hosts and organizers and share your experience.  Your reflections are valued and important for creating future community conversation events.
  • Please clean up your table and area.
  • Remove paper covering and extra printed materials from your table and put in recycling bin.
  • Someone will collect the crayons (they will be donated).
  • Fold your table and chairs, get a buddy and take to designated area.

Story Card Questions (to use in lieu of a card deck)

~Your favorite place in Louisville                               

~A way you express creativity                                 

~Your favorite holiday                                               

~A time you made your parents proud

~Something people would be surprised to find out about you

~How you got through a particularly rough time in your life

~An experience that changed your way of thinking

~Three people you would invite to dinner

~Wild Card: the person to your left creates your question

~A meaningful family tradition
~A perfect day

~What gives you energy and joy  

Everything you need to know to Host a Table