Virtual Advisory Boards: the new normal for 2021 and beyond

Do you recall pre-2020 when every Advisory Board required at least a 12-week preparation window to allow clinicians to adjust their clinical duties so that they could attend? That seems a long time ago now, and while we don’t imagine the days of the face-to-face (F2F) Advisory Board are over (and we are all acutely aware of the importance of F2F human contact in these strange times), the virtual version has brought a new versatility and flexibility to the format that is refreshing.

It’s not that virtual Advisory Boards never happened previously, but somehow the real-life version was much more acceptable for both clients and healthcare professionals. However, we now predict a continuation in the demand for the virtual version given the success of our 2020 meetings and also based on positive KOL feedback, even once COVID-19 is less of an issue. Our clients are already seeing how a series of shorter virtual meetings can cover the same ground, and provide the same insights, as the traditional F2F format without the 12 week lead time. We are all now so well attuned to the online meeting environment and, in many cases, the travel and time required for a full day event is becoming less justifiable.

At vivacity a division of Solaris Health, we also offer the option to add our online forum and KOL exchange platform into the mix. This allows for ongoing discussion and questions to be covered in between the virtual sessions in a secure, closed environment and then fed into the next virtual session. Clinicians can complete the online questions at their convenience over an agreed period of time, and this allows us to focus on those detailed points where we are seeking complete clarity.

Our facilitators understand how to get the best from each participant in an online meeting and we’ve found the results from 2020 easily justify retaining the virtual alternative as part of the post-COVID programme, albeit incorporated with F2F events as well.

The days of the full-day F2F meeting are, of course, not over and we look forward to the next opportunity to meet our clients and their experts in person. However, we predict that there will be fewer meetings in this format and far more virtual versions in our clients’ activity programmes in 2022.

If you would like more information on our virtual Advisory Board expertise which includes KOL identification and mapping, developing engaging agenda-based sessions, creating effective slide decks, and full service KOL liaison, do get in touch – email: Philip.adams@vivacityadvertising.com