How to Increase Engagement at Pharmaceutical Advisory Board Meetings

October 8, 2021 Array Team


Pharmaceutical advisory boards are frequently engaged to gain strategic insights and strengthen key opinion leader (KOL) and HCP (healthcare professional) relationships. Unlike traditional market research, a well-executed medical advisory board can be a quick and very valuable tool to:

  • Discover quick insights
  • Hold interactive discussions to explore insights 
  • Exchange information to understand the obstacles and support needs, such as unmet knowledge gaps and medical educational opportunities
  • Gain guidance and suggestions about how to address these unmet needs

Collaboration is key to a meaningful pharmaceutical advisory board meeting, so you can come away with actionable insights and recommendations, as well as a complete report of the event.

In this blog, we’ll cover how to plan and execute an effective pharmaceutical advisory board meeting. We’ll explore how our pharmaceutical clients use advisory board engagement strategies to improve advisor participation.

1. Set your goals upfront and plan ahead

Start with clear objectives. What are you hoping to gain from the event? A walkthrough of the patient journey? Advice on clinical trial protocol? Surveys? A deeper understanding of coverage issues? Be clear on how the output of your pharmaceutical advisory board will inform your business.

Then, circulate the plan to stakeholders. Hold a planning session with everyone on the team who’s going to be at the meeting to make sure you’re aligned. To maintain engagement and focus, refine the agenda for your pharmaceutical advisory board. Narrow it down to the most important information you want to share and feedback you want to take away. Be sure to weigh your business needs with the needs of advisors.

Then, double-check compliance with your internal policies and any applicable local regulatory guidelines. 

Lastly, ensure that event content, resource materials, discussion guides, and advisor questions are developed and approved in time. You don't want last-minute changes to derail your event. Plus, having a concrete plan will make writing reports easier. 

Before the meeting:

  • Brief the chairs and speakers before the meeting. 
  • Then, schedule a call to go over the plan. 
  • Lastly, hold a dry run or rehearsal to make sure everything goes smoothly. 
  • Chairs and speakers can check practical execution to detect problems and offer great ideas.

2. Choose the right advisors

Select the right people for your pharmaceutical advisory board to gather the valuable insights you need. Seek out informed, appropriately experienced advisors that understand your goals and will commit to actively contributing to your discussion. Recruit them based on their expertise and ability to answer questions that serve your business needs. Ideally, start the screening, invitation and contracting process at least 8-12 weeks in advance in order to finalize contracts and secure the appropriate advisors.

To keep advisors actively engaged, resist the urge to include too many advisors.

3. Focus your schedule

To maintain engagement and focus, refine your ad board agenda. Narrow it down to the most important information you want to share and feedback you want to take away. Be sure to weigh your business needs with the needs of advisors. 

Prioritize your attendee experience to create meaningful, engaging events. 

4. Decide on the right format and platform

For a successful pharmaceutical advisory board that increases engagement, you should pick a format and platform that is secure and best suits your needs. For example, virtual pharmaceutical advisory board meetings can be held at shorter notice, and are easier on travel and budgets. 

More and more, healthcare and pharmaceutical organizations are holding hybrid and virtual events, and need the tools to host them effectively. Consider the technology and platform support you need whether your meeting is in-person or virtual.

array-hub-laptop-for-array-mobileYour platform is key to your meeting success. You should choose an event technology and partner who:

  • Has experience in pharmaceutical advisory board meetings
  • Can provide technical support before and during your event
  • Supports interactive activities, like Q&As, polls, and surveys
  • Allows presenters to share slides, answer private and public questions, and collect and display responses, polls, and survey results
  • Provides a smooth  and polished user experience, access to essential resources, and capabilities to follow-up 
  • Facilitates synchronous interactions to promote the best attendee experience

5. Keep discussion topics focused

Consider the length of your meeting to keep advisors active and alert. Schedule breaks as needed to disconnect and come back refreshed.

6. Provide content engagement opportunities

Pharmaceutical advisory board meetings are held to gather feedback with key opinion leaders. Plan a variety of activities, like general discussion and breakouts if possible.  

Guy typing on iPAD

To engage advisors, try using these content engagement strategies:

  • Complete short polls or surveys at the beginning of the meeting and via post-presentation surveys
  • Vote in polls and answer real-time open-ended surveys to gather opinions and insights
  • Invite advisors to send questions to the moderator 
  • View content like slides and relevant materials

7. Follow up with advisors after the meeting

Advisors are interested to know the output of the event. When possible, after the meeting is over, reach out to advisors to share a short summary. Our pharmaceutical clients know: it goes a long way when you make advisors feel informed, important, valued.

Get More from Your Pharmaceutical Advisory Board Meeting

Pharmaceutical advisory board meetings are a critical part of the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry and dialogue with the medical community. At Array, we’ve helped hundreds of advisory board meetings achieve a 98% engagement rate and streamlined reporting through our content engagement platform.

If you need help making the most of your pharmaceutical advisory board meetings, schedule a consultation, and let’s talk.

See how Array can power more meaningful life science events →

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