The Impetus InSite Platform® is the platform our clients’ advisors use to communicate with them and with each other. Part social network, message board, classroom, and virtual lounge, it connects members of an advisory board and keeps them connected no matter where they are. Through online touchpoints delivered via the Impetus InSite Platform®, advisory board organizers have four main ways of engaging their members: questionnaires, discussion forums, online assignments, and live web meetings/webinars.
Real-time Web Meeting Touchpoints
Always popular is the web meeting. You can gather your advisors together for a discussion, get in-the-moment feedback on issues, and listen to board members challenge each other (when that happens, everybody learns).
The keys to this are preparation and interactivity. As the organizer or facilitator, you should have every aspect of your web meeting planned so your participants aren’t tempted to click away — and these days that’s so easy to do. To ensure your advisors are still with you, it’s key to insert some interactive activities along the way. Have you ever taken a break in your slides, to ask for questions or feedback, only to be met by dead air? Avoid that by inserting key questions in advance – these on screen polls can ensure full audience participation and feedback. And the instantly viewable responses allow the facilitator to probe further and begin an engaging discussion.
Finally, if someone does disengage, you will want to know. Following each web meeting with Impetus, you will receive metrics that let you know your percentage engagement (measured by whether your guests opened other windows during your event or were surfing the web), as well as poll results and analysis. You will leave with valuable information as to who was most engaged, and who voted for what during your polls.
“I wish I had more content to fill my advisory board agenda,” said no one ever. Make the most of your day – cut your agenda in half but pulling out key questions to be asked in advance of your live meetings. Most of the time, you’ll use your questionnaires to gauge your advisors’ opinions, knowledge or position on an issue. Applying what you learn from the answers to your live meeting prep will let you skip over the material you’ve confirmed to be either known by all or known by enough, as well as to hone in on the meaty items that warrant deeper discussion.
Remember, the fastest way to lose an audience is to tell them what they already know.
Discussion Forum Touchpoints
One of Impetus InSite Platform®’s best features is the ability to be a passive participant in a conversation — kind of like sitting quietly at the dinner table listening to two people talk, or in this case 20.
As a meeting organizer, you can get a lot from “listening in” on discussion forums, like (a) what people on your board find important even if you don’t, and (b) who on your board is really dialed in versus who might be less so.
Even better than listening, is participating! Why not comment back to your advisors with a simple “that’s an interesting perspective, tell me a bit more”. Your board feels like you’ve been hearing them, they’ll be much more likely to engage and stay engaged.
Assignments are one of the best ways to gain insight from your advisory board members, and, in our experience, usually generate more than what you might expect from a live meeting. In addition to the wealth of data generated from each online touchpoint, you can build on the results at your next live meeting.
For example, let’s say the assignment is to respond to a recently published journal article. Obviously, the goal of this assignment is to get your members to read and consider the article. As a meeting facilitator, you could create a second goal: find the two most diametrically opposed responses and have them present their reasonings at the next meeting.
Impetus Digital is the Online Customer Advisory Board expert, offering the most comprehensive B2B Online Customer Advisory Board solutions. We increase customer intimacy, engagement, and retention by creating a shared future direction with customer executives and key opinion leaders.