As a follow-up to the poll I ran on the LinkedIn group for CAB.org, this blog addresses the 2nd biggest challenge for Customer Advisory Board (CAB) Program Managers – agenda design. I'd like to share a few best practices we've developed to help bring together an agenda that ensures value for all attendees.
When designing an agenda, we break down session content into four buckets:
- Identify what you want to learn from your members. Your Executive team should determine the most important issues/areas to gain member feedback. Frame the discussion around the 2-3 key questions you’d like the members to answer. This allows for a natural dialog among the group.
- Determine what you need to inform members about. Provide a strategy update on your company including areas you are considering pursuing, etc., and allow time for Q&A. These business level discussions give members an opportunity to fulfill their role of “advisor.”
- Understand what members would like to learn. Survey members a few months prior to the meeting on topics they would like to see on the agenda. Consider having 3 or 4 members participate on a panel discussion on one of those topics.
- Make time for peer-to-peer learning/networking. Incorporate time for members to learn from one another, and include a fun team-building activity or experience that everyone can enjoy.
Designing an agenda with a mix of these four areas makes for engaging dialog that will be mutually beneficial to the members and the host team.