Whether you’re about to embark on your first, or whether you’re a seasoned veteran, organising pharmaceutical advisory boards can be overwhelming. For the pharma industry, they are a crucial means of gathering insight but can sometimes be onerous and unclear. Yet, organised properly and with clear objectives agreed at the outset, the benefits are substantial.

Here are our 10 top things to consider when planning a pharmaceutical advisory board meeting.

Before the meeting

1 – Define and agree SMART objectives in advance. Identify what it is you need to know and create a list of what you would like to get out of the session. Being clear on your needs will help keep you focused.

2 – Create a purposeful agenda. Don’t feel that you have to cram everyone and everything into the session. Think about who will add the most value and what the advisors are most likely to want to need and know. If something is a nice-to-have but not essential, you may want to consider leaving it out altogether.

3 – Share the agenda in advance. This will ensure everyone will come to the meeting with a clear idea of what to expect and a running order to work through.

4 – Be authentic. People can quickly see through woolly responses so plan ahead and plan for direct questions so that you can answer honestly without running the risk of upsetting the balance or the healthcare professionals.

5 – Involve everyone. Remember that everyone processes information in different ways. There will be some naturally more willing to provide feedback but don’t forget about those who are perhaps taking time to process the information being shared with them. Try to involve all of those who will be at the meeting itself.

6 – Remember it’s a journey. No meeting should be a destination in itself – keep in mind that you might not come away with all the answers, but it’ll certainly help get you on the way.

7 – Brief the Chair and speakers. The most well-organised meeting will fail if the Chair has not been properly briefed. You might want to consider a conference call in advance, or a practice run in person, perhaps during the on-site slide review. Whatever the preference and feasibility, try and fit in a dress rehearsal.


During the meeting:


8 – Have an agenda to hand. You would have already (hopefully) run through the agenda but make sure there’s a hard copy available so that the Chair can help keep on track.

During the conversation draw on open ended questions and encourage responses and vary content between presentations and workshops.

9 – Use the agenda to form the basis of your write-up. By planning in advance and having clear objectives, writing up the meeting should be straight forward if you follow the flow of your agenda.

10 – Thank them for their time. It sounds obvious but don’t forget to thank participants for their time and remind them of your contact details should they have any questions. Also send them a copy of the report once it’s ready.


We are experienced in arranging pharmaceutical advisory boards and ensuring they are fully ABPI compliant. If you need help with your pharma event give us a call or book in a free event consultation face to face of over skype.




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