If you’ve organized your next customer advisory board (CAB) meeting, procured your event site, garnered about a dozen member RSVPs, and created and reviewed all materials and sessions in advance, congratulations! You are well on your way to holding an outstanding, insightful meeting.

However, to create an even better, more meaningful experience for your customers, and to ensure maximum insights will be generated for your host company, don’t forget to send these five important items to your CAB members in advance of your upcoming meeting:

1) Logistics instructions. Be sure to send an email before the meeting finalizing any and all travel and meeting logistics. Include hotel address, meeting rooms, reception start time, etc. Also include any reimbursement instructions so members will have this before they attempt any interactions. (Make sure you share the reimbursement policy upfront when you first start booking travel.) Be sure to send all this about a week in advance – remember that busy professionals receive hundreds of emails. They may not see it if you send it the day before meeting travel begins.

2) Meeting agenda. You’ll also want to send the meeting agenda in advance of your gathering. So customers will know the topics you’ll be discussing and ponder their perspectives. They can even gather insights and opinions from others within their organizations to bring to the meeting. In addition to the topics, include all break times, session owners, meeting exercises, meals and social activities.

3) Pre-reading materials. Often, meeting discussions will focus around topics that CAB members would benefit from some additional background to learn before the meeting. Examples here would include published articles, white papers, analyst reports, customer case studies, etc. Review each session of your agenda. And consider what materials would help attendees be informed and ready to contribute. Of course, here too, sending materials well in advance will yield better results.

4) Meeting kit. Sending your meeting kit – a booklet containing all meeting participant bios, meeting agenda, CAB program charter and meeting instructions – will further help participants prepare for the engagement. Doing so will also allow attendees learn who their fellow colleagues are that will be there. And including everyone’s contact info in the meeting kit will eliminate the (admittedly dying) need to exchange business cards. Of course, you will also want to have prints of your meeting kit onsite for all participants.

5) Meeting materials and key discussion questions. Sending the key discussion questions (per session) on a meeting slide deck is also a best practice. And that will further get your attendees prepared. You might consider including slides from product feature discussions. CAB members may need inputs from others internally within their organizations. This is especially helpful if the CAB members are executives who are not necessarily the actual user of your product. Customers will often cite obtaining such meeting materials in advance as desires in their post-meeting surveys for this very reason.

Professionals (especially executives) don’t like to be surprised by anything unexpected. Providing all meeting materials in advance to your CAB will go a long way to getting them prepared for an engaging discussion. You will create an overall ideal meeting, and show your members what an organized, well-prepared CAB program you run! Find out more about how to create an engaging CAB meeting agenda, watch our webinar here.

Ignite Advisory Group is the leading global authority on Customer Advisory Boards and Customer-Led Boards. Ignite’s proven methodology for managing and evolving Customer Advisory Boards includes a 4-stage process, encompassing 48 deliverables and measured by 20 metrics to deliver a clear ROI. To learn more about Ignite, visit our website, read our blogs, and follow us on LinkedIn. To find out how your company can benefit from Ignite’s CAB methodology and process, contact us today.

Share This