One of the most unique and impactful happenings within the pharmaceutical and life sciences world is the investigator meeting.
Investigator meetings provide the foundation and training that allows healthcare providers (HCPs) to effectively participate in clinical trials that will move their specific drugs or devices forward, while effectively training doctors on clinical trial protocols.
We’re eliminating the guesswork, and narrowing down just what HCPs are wanting from their next investigator meeting.
What makes a Successful Investigator Meeting?
The key to providing a top-level investigator meeting is understanding what healthcare providers want from your meeting and making sure you are meeting those goals. According to HCPs, the ability to deliver a quality meeting hinges on three pillars:
For a pharmaceutical professional attending your meeting, they need to know that the meeting they’re attending is up to certain standards. The team planning the meeting needs to be well versed in regulatory, clinical and corporate compliance standards. They also need to be keeping track of changes in local guidelines.
This is not to say that you should be afraid to spend money to ensure you’re putting forth the best investigator meeting, or even that you’re taking the cheap route. No, cost-effectiveness refers to your budget being specifically focused to meet the unique goals of the meeting and build relationships with the HCPs while training them as need be.
Providing consistency and efficiency in your meeting is paramount. Medical professionals attending your meeting are busy – they have packed schedules, and it takes time to plan. Here are some simple techniques to help accommodate:
- Send advanced meeting notices and email notifications, allowing them to clear up their schedule, and reminding them to attend
- Provide a simplified registration process to ensure a higher attendance, allowing for a potentially higher ROI
- Online registration allows for attendees to easily confirm their attendance, which is much smoother than a traditional paper registration. This allows you to succinctly collect the data and pertinent information for attendees to be saved for future use or reference
The process and pre-preparation that goes into putting on professional investigator meetings, is just as important as the content being discussed. While meetings are primarily being held virtually in recent months due to COVID-19, it’s important to keep in mind the facets that make both successful live meetings as well as their virtual counterparts.
Considerations for In-Person Meetings
First and foremost, when planning live investigator meetings, the planner must factor in the busy lives and schedules of the HCPs. Event venues need to be conveniently located, and travel plans need to be accommodating. Following meetings, HCPs have been interviewed as saying that for a standard one-day meeting, travel time should be kept to three hours one way at most. Cost-effectiveness and timeliness play a huge factor when it comes to the distinction between virtual and live events.
Virtual Investigator Meetings
Many of the technical travel accommodations of in-person meetings do not apply to virtual meetings, providing several benefits. Namely, the ability to attend meetings virtually helps better accommodate the HCP’s busy schedule. The meetings become more accessible both financially and time-wise, allowing for higher attendance rates.
Clear and Focused Meeting Agenda
To provide the best meeting, the importance of a clear and focused agenda cannot be overstated. Attendees are limited to a short amount of time, and they need to make the most of it.
- Stay on topic by having role-specific agendas, and training focused on tasks the trainees must perform in the study protocol
- Prevent information overload by trying to squeeze too much info into too little of a time frame
- Have a clear value of participants’ time and adhere to that
Yet another benefit of investigator meetings, both live, virtual and hybrid that HCPs value and look for, is the chance for networking opportunities. It’s important to make time for these moments on the agenda, and there are several easy ways to do so organically:
- Through planned breaks
- By creating specific networking activities
- Audience interaction to better understand the material
- Question & Answer segments at the end of the presentation
- Real-time interactive events
This provides professionals the chance to network with their colleagues and peers, putting a personal stamp on your meeting, setting it apart, and breaking up the monotony of just content.
Utilize a Variety of Content
To ensure you’re keeping the attendees’ attention while preventing information overload, it is necessary to provide a variety of content. Break up the content so that it is not a boring lecture. Sprinkle in interactive material and topics. HCPs want to learn as much as they can from your investigator meeting, and the best way to provide this is by diversifying the learning styles.
- Visual – video, charts, images
- Auditory – speakers, podcasts
- Kinesthetics – role-playing, practice, demonstrations, interactive content
Education retention rates are far higher when information is present in all 3 learning modes. It’s not good enough just to have the right content, you must also get creative in how you present and display it for HCPs to get the most out of the presentation.
Content Availability Post-Meeting
Another overlooked factor that HCPs have expressed extreme value in, is the availability and usability of content following meetings. The ability to have access to meeting materials post-event is key. This allows them to get more out of the meetings, to stop and rewind content and, to learn at their own pace.
Don’t Waste HCPs Time – Hand Tailor Content Pre-Meeting
Set yourself up for success by customizing your content to your audience. With pre-quizzes and pre-surveys before the event, you can gain valuable insights into what your audience knows, and more importantly what it doesn’t. With that information, you can develop your content to ensure that your attendees will leave the meeting knowing exactly what they need to know. Ensure the most productive and effective meeting possible.
At the end of the day, it comes down to professionalism and expertise, the right planning and execution. Scarritt Group is focused on creating an immersive meeting experience that sets pharmaceutical professionals up for success.
For more information on how Scarritt Group can help you provide a virtual solution for investigator meetings, contact us online or give us a call at (520) 498-2900 and set up a free demo to see it for yourself.