The guest of honour at each briefing is an expert at national or international level in his or her chosen field.
Recent speakers have included Government Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, the heads of regulatory and representative bodies, Ambassadors, High Commissioners, prominent commentators and the chairmen or chief executives of leading companies and public service organisations.
The guest of honour introduces the chosen topic for 10 to 15 minutes followed by a single conversation discussion.
There are between 12 and 16 guests at each briefing, invited for the different perspectives that they bring to the table. In this way guests meet their peers, benefit from an informed discussion and broaden their range of contacts.
The briefings usually take place over breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Reform Club, 104 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5EW, and are chaired by Hugh Merrill. To encourage openness, all present are asked to respect the confidentiality of the occasion by not attributing comments made at lunch outside the room.
"What I like about The Briefing Circle is the flexibility. Hugh Merrill is the best networker out there, but it is not just having the right people at the table. I can dip in and out, but know that when I do come I will find a new set of expert people on whatever the topic of the day is."