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It’s no secret global lockdowns have completely transformed the way the pharmaceutical industry conducts meetings. And advisory boards have been no exception. But the complexity of these meetings can make them more challenging to produce in a virtual environment than other types of meetings. In this post, we break down the three reasons why you need a virtual meeting producer for your next advisory board meeting.

At the most basic level, a virtual meeting producer helps you design, build and deliver an effective environment in which people can learn and engage in a meaningful way. More importantly, they usually have a process and platform that allows you to do this at scale. This makes it possible to run productive advisory board meetings over and over again with minimal technical issues.

If you’re starting to conduct your ad board meetings online, there are three reasons why you should consider this type of partnership.

Virtual Ad Boards Are Here to Stay

The verdict is in: doctors enjoy virtual ad boards.

Like many other types of pharmaceutical meetings, ad boards that used to take place in person have all transitioned to virtual events. And while most employees are experiencing virtual meeting fatigue, we’re starting to see that doctors are really enjoying virtual ad boards.

This is because online meetings offer doctors two game-changing benefits:

  • A significant reduction in the burden of time and logistics
  • Reduction in their risk of exposure to COVID-19

For key opinion leaders who are pressed for time and worried about contracting COVID-19, these benefits are incredibly valuable. It’s now easier and safer than ever for doctors to participate in ad boards. And, as long as the virtual meetings are well executed, online ad boards can be as productive as they used to be in person.

Because the shift to virtual ad boards has provided significant benefits to doctors, it’s highly likely that doctors will want them to continue in some fashion after the era of social distancing.

In some cases, this runs counter to many ad board producers’ interest in these meetings shifting back to in-person events. But since virtual ad boards are beneficial to doctors, productive for pharmaceutical companies and easier for producers schedule, it’s likely they will continue for the foreseeable future.

Because of this, investment in virtual ad board capabilities will be vital to the long-term success of these programs. A virtual meeting producer can help you transition your current ad board program into a virtual framework that benefits both doctors and pharmaceutical companies.

Producing Virtual Ad Board Meetings Is Complex

Making any type of virtual meeting engaging is challenging. But advisory boards are particularly complex.

Scheduling several sessions of an ad board program presents a number of logistical challenges. How do you schedule multiple doctors, living in multiple time zones, working at multiple institutions, to be available at the same time? 

This requires a great degree of coordination and scheduling, while still being mindful that interfacing with doctors requires a greater degree of sensitivity.

These challenges didn’t go away when meetings switched over to virtual. Sure, some logistical factors, like scheduling and transportation, became easier. But the challenge of creating an engaging virtual experience for doctors has more than made up for their absence.

When you transition an ad board program to virtual, you introduce so many new variables that most event producers aren’t used to handling. Video platforms can crash. Participants’ technology can (and will) fail. And producing an engaging and productive meeting is more difficult online than in person.

A simple Teams meeting and a calendar invite aren’t going to be enough to manage the scale of complexity of these meetings. The only way to make them work is through effective planning and a centralized virtual environment. From there, you’ll also need to follow best practices for creating an engaging virtual meeting.

Managing the technical aspects of brining ad board meetings online is a demanding process. Many in-house teams don’t have the time or interest to do so. Because of this, they’ll often partner with a virtual meeting producer to deliver engaging and productive ad board meetings at scale.

Doctors Have a Low Tolerance for Technology Failure

Doctors are less tolerant than ever of technology glitches. And it’s easy to see why.

For the last six months, they’ve been living online and experienced hundreds of meetings. They’re also used to conducting online meetings on telemedicine platforms that have the resources and support to guarantee a seamless experience.

This has some important implications for teams that produce ad board meetings.

First, creating a virtual experience with minimal technical difficulties is going to be essential to enlisting and retaining ad board participants. If the virtual experience is bad, the doctors may elect to get paid by someone else.

The second implication is the importance of one-click-to-enter technology. Meetings that doctors can enter by clicking a single link or button provide a seamless experience. Meetings that require registration, multiple clicks, application downloads and other hurtles create a frustrating one. The best way to facilitate a one-click-to-enter experience is by designing a virtual meeting environment that delivers a good-as-in-person experience with a single click.

Lastly, advisory board producers will need a reliable way to prevent glitches and failures that disrupt the virtual ad board experience. This can seem like an impossible task, as things often go wrong during virtual meetings. But it is possible.

There are two steps to combating technical issues that will ensure your meeting goes off without a hitch.

Before the meeting, conduct a technical check by testing the performance of your virtual platform, as well as audio and video quality. This addresses any major technical errors or issues with audio/visual quality up front, reducing the potential for error.

Next, you’ll need to address technical glitches that come up during the event. This will require working with a producer with technical expertise to provide support during the meeting. A virtual meeting producer can help you detect and respond to technical failures before they become a problem. And production staff can find lost participants who don’t make it to their meeting and help them get where they need to go.

Conclusion

The industry-wide shift to virtual has transformed the way pharmaceutical companies conduct ad board meetings. If the last six months have been any indication, then it’s likely that virtual ad boards are here to stay. This makes investing in the production capabilities of your virtual advisory board meetings more important than ever.

Want to create a better virtual experience for your ad board participants? Intempio can help deliver seamless, user-friendly engagements at scale. Tell us about your meeting needs today!

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