One Size Does Not Fit All When it Comes to Content

In her recent blog post, Less is Definitely More: The Customer Advisory Board Content Trap, Roanne Neuwirth discussed the importance of creating a content quality / quantity balance when developing Customer Advisory Board agendas.  Her thinking spurred me on to consider another trap we frequently see in developing content for Advisory Boards – the tendency to view a Board meeting like an event, and build an agenda based on that premise.  In fact, Advisory Boards are different from events in a number of important ways that have implications on building successful agendas.

Below is a view into how the executive event content differs from the content shared with Customer Advisory Boards, and some recommendations on how to avoid the event trap for your next Advisory Board meeting.

Executive Events Customer Advisory Boards
Content
  • One-way delivery
  • Dynamic, interactive presentations
  • Formal presentation styles with well-formed, defensible perspectives
  • Variety of presentation formats, focused on educating, entertaining
  • Interactive discussion
  • Executive-level succinct presentations
  • Ideas in progress, developing perspectives
  • Presentation format focuses on advice and discussion
Purpose
  • Transactional
  • Educate and impart information
  • Lead generation, pipeline advancement
  • Ongoing Dialog
  • Gather strategic advice and share ideas
  • Deepening strategic relationships

 

Tips for Customer Advisory Board Content

As you develop the content for your next Customer Advisory Board meeting, consider these guidelines:

  • Less is more:  Keep presentations short, succinct and geared towards generating conversation
  • Discussion not presentation:  Build in as much time for discussion as presentation
  • Works in progress win:  Showcase early stage thinking, works-in-progress to solicit input
  • Clarity of advice:  Be clear where you want advice versus where you want to share

The distinct differences between the content presented at executive events and Customer Advisory Boards must be taken into account, as they will impact the outcomes you are looking for.  Developing agendas with content focused on delivery and outcomes in mind can create the right vehicle to gain the insight and strategic advice a Customer Advisory Board can provide.

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