Top 5 Things to Send to Customer Advisory Board Members Before Your Next Meeting


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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 – hotel address, meeting rooms, reception start time, etc. Also include any reimbursement instructions so members will have this before they attempt any interactions. 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, ponder their perspectives and 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 presentations and materials: Sending your meeting slide deck in advance is also a best practice that will further get your attendees prepared. After all, CAB members will certainly ask for this at the meeting – why not show your proactive preparedness by already doing so in advance? Furthermore, product roadmap feature discussions may require the needs and inputs from others internally within CAB members’ organizations – especially if they are executives who are not necessarily the actual user of your product. Customers will often site 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. Preparing your customer advisory board for the meeting by providing all meeting materials in advance will go a long way to getting them prepared for an engaging discussion, create an overall ideal meeting, and show your members what an organized, well-prepared CAB program you run!

Rob Jensen
Rob Jensen has spent over 20 years in marketing, communications and business development leadership positions with leading enterprise business-to-business (B2B) software and technology companies. Throughout his career, Rob has successfully overseen groups that generated global awareness, increased lead generation and enabled sales teams for EMC/Captiva, Kofax, Anacomp, TRW, HNC Software and AudaExplore. In addition, Rob has specialized in initiating, managing and facilitating customer and partner advisory board programs for several of these companies in the U.S. and abroad.


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