How to Run an Advisory Board Meeting

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And on the 6th day of Christmas, Enactus gave to me, 6 Advisory Board Meetings and a Support Network there to help you!

 

You will have heard me going on and on about these things called Advisory Board Meetings and this short blog makes no exception to that. This blog will therefore work in 3 parts: what is the AB; preparing for the meeting; improvement and reflection.

 

1)    You may have already run an Advisory Board, but have you considered all of the opportunities that lie within them? First and foremost, the Advisory Board Meeting is an opportunity to bring all of your advisers together to share your project and team progress, work through your challenges and establish next steps to move forward.           

 

These meetings are not restricted to just business adviser attendance, we encourage that you invite your University Advisers, Local Advisers and even some of your newer team members. They can also be a great way to invite potential advisers / project partners to learn more about your projects and Enactus team. (If you have any queries about engaging new advisers, please see the documents at the end of this blog).

 

2)    “Fail to prepare; prepare to fail” – a slightly dramatic phrase, but one with substantial meaning. Bringing people together to meet requires good organisation and preparation. To start, deciding or offering date options to your respective advisers is key and within this you need to make sure that you remain professional. The word professionalism can sometimes be thrown around without any clear meaning, but within Enactus and the AB meeting, professionalism means sharing dates for your meeting early (not 1 week early, at least a month or two in advance), it means balancing being friendly in your emails, with informative and formal.

 

When you’re preparing for a big presentation or meeting at university, you look to ensure that all of the appropriate materials are accounted for, an agenda is set and your presentations are rehearsed – the same can be said for AB meetings. Don’t leave it to the last minute – your advisers are very busy in their normal jobs, make sure that their time and your time is used efficiently.

 

3)    How can you improve them? Taking on board some of the tips from above will help you, but also reflecting on your meetings is one of the best ways to see where you can improve.

 

At the end of the meeting, take some time with or without your advisers to reflect on what went well, what didn’t go so well. What information did you get? And what questions do you still have?

 

Taking a few minutes to consider the effectiveness of your meeting can be one of the best ways to improve. Saying that, there is nothing stopping you from asking your advisers what they thought about the way you structured your meeting too.

 

For more hints and tips, take a look at our best practice sheet for advisory boards and Sponsor Engagement Guidance.

 

If you want to talk to me about your AB meetings, email me at krew@enactus.org

 

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

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