Your company has prepared for months for your Customer Advisory Board face-to-face meeting. Your Customer Advisory Board members are confirmed to attend along with your internal stakeholders, the agenda and networking activities have been set, and all the logistics are finalized.
Your company is now at the meeting, in front of your top customers, and the meeting doesn’t go as well as you thought it would. We see this time and again because companies lack proper meeting execution and follow up.
Here are some items to create a facilitation driven meeting, effectively capture meeting insights and be prepared for follow up.
A critical component is the review process and meeting preparation leading up to the face-to-face meeting.
- Review the content, timing and flow of each session with each session leader and subject matter expert. Finalize the objectives of each session and top key questions.
- Review the facilitation process with all internal stakeholders.
- Provide an overview of how meeting insights and key action items will be captured. Make sure your internal team is aware of any feedback documents to complete during the meeting.
- Prepare your executive team for the meeting. Make sure all executives understand the facilitation process and have been briefed about each advisory board member/customer account in the room.
- The biggest challenge often times is to handle your executives during the meeting. They should be actively listening and letting the members speak for 80% of the time. They should NOT defend or sell solutions or products or talk about unrelated topics.
Skillful Customer Advisory Board facilitation is necessary to make sure advisory board members are engaged, objectives are met, and the agenda timing is managed.
- Make sure that all advisory board members are engaged and participating. Provide opportunities for all members to contribute. You don
’t want members that are not active, won’t contribute and speak up.
- At the beginning of the meeting, set the proper ground rules for members and review facilitation guideline.s
- At the end of a session, provide a brief summary of key points covered during the session.
- Beyond a certain number of advisory board members, we suggest creating breakout sessions. Above 15 members in an advisory board, it may start to get challenging to have a meaningful conversation in which each person contributes and speaks up.
Many companies fail to capture top business insights and action items in a comprehensive meeting summary.
- Plan and implement a meeting summary process prior to the face-to-face meeting. Appoint scribe(s) to capture main points and comments from advisory board members. Record the meetings to reference later.
- Debrief with internal key stakeholders about top business insights right after the meeting ends. Use the meeting summary as a follow up starting point with internal stakeholders and advisory board members.
- Gather feedback from attendees onsite. For internal stakeholders, we use a session key takeaways form to complete after each session. For members, we use a feedback form that is qualitative and quantitative.
- Condense all of the notes, data points and information into a 10-15 slide power point deck or document, summarizing the essence of the meeting.
- Use visuals in the meeting summary. Diagram the key points of a session. Present the quantitative feedback from members year over year in a graph.
- Create a meeting summary that is visually appealing and consistent with your branding guidelines.
Watch the video above in our series on why Customer Advisory Boards fail, focusing on poor Customer Advisory Board meeting execution and follow up.
Check out the other videos in the series on Why Customer Advisory Boards fail:
- Part 1 of 10: It’s too much work
- Part 2 of 10: Short term thinking
- Part 3 of 10: CAB confusion
- Part 4 of 10: No peer exchange
- Part 5 of 10: Unrealistic timing and expectations
- Part 6 of 10: Lack of creativity and vision
- Part 7 of 10: No executive ownership
- Part 8 of 10: Poor CAB member management policies