Three tips for organising an effective Advisory Board meeting

Many job descriptions for MSLs describe the need for applicants to be able to organise advisory boards – based on my experience organising advisory boards, here are my three top tips to organising an effective advisory board.

Step 1: Define the Objective

A successful advisory board begins with a clearly defined objective – what does the company actually want to achieve from the advisory board? This will dictate the people that are invited to the advisory board and the agenda.

Step 2: Identify KOLs who can help you achieve your objective

Once you’ve clearly defined your objective, the next step is to identify KOLs who have the influence and expertise to help you achieve your objectives. KOLs are very busy people so you may not be able to get one day to suit everyone. Prioritise your list of KOLs, and lock in the date with the most important KOLs first, before reaching out to the rest of the KOLs on your list. Learn how to reach out to KOLs here.

TIP: If a KOL refuses the invite, ask them for a recommendation for another KOL with similar expertise who may be interested in attending.

Step 3: Develop an agenda and questions which will meet your objective

The general format of an advisory board is:

· Presentation

· Questions

· Discussion

· Break

This sequence of events is repeated 2-4 times depending on the length of the advisory board.

When preparing questions for the advisory board, ask open questions (questions which start with Who, When, What, Which) to stimulate conversation and discussion.

It's also a good idea to Invite some of your KOL attendees to present some data (if applicable) to the advisory board – this adds value to the other advisory board members.

General Tips:

  • Brief the chair of the advisory board thoroughly (if choosing one of the KOLs to chair the meeting) so they understand what the company is trying to achieve.

  • Choose a room with natural light – this helps keep the energy up in the room

  • Request permission to record the attendees in order to ensure effective minute taking.

For more details on how to organise an advisory board (including a template agenda) check out Chapter 7 of Medical Science Liaison, the Ultimate step by step guide.

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