5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Invite Third-Party Speakers to CAB Meetings


Considering bringing in a third-party speaker to your next customer advisory board meeting? Don’t.

We are sometimes asked by our clients or prospects about the notion of inviting an external, third-party speaker to come present at a host-company’s upcoming customer advisory board (CAB) meeting. After all, there are many wonderful subject matter experts, authors, industry analysts, consultants or influencers out there that can provide research or data that could be of interest to your CAB members. Inviting a well-known speaker might even add some exclusivity or prestige to your next meeting and impress your prized CAB members.

Unfortunately, in our experience, use of third-party speakers tends to disappoint or underwhelm CAB members and the host companies who brought them in. It turns out that CAB meetings are just usually not a good environment for their participation, and they can actually be better applied as a resource to other areas of your marketing messaging.

As such, here are the top five reasons why inviting a third-party speaker to your next CAB meeting is not a good idea:

They May Be Costly

First off, bringing in an outside expert to your next CAB meeting may not be free, and may even be quite expensive. Such costs may burden your overall meeting budget, or force you to skimp in other areas that your CAB members may notice, such as the hotel, food, travel reimbursement or social activity. Such fees for such “hired guns” are usually not worth the expense, and the money could’ve been better spent elsewhere.

Related Article: Don’t Invite Prospects to Your Next Customer Advisory Board Meeting

They Don’t Know Your CAB

While your expert speaker may have a general understanding of CABs, he or she will likely not know your customers, their roles and their specific challenges. While you can certainly hold a prep meeting to review these, your CAB program and your meeting goals, in my experience, such a discussion is more a formality and such insights will have little bearing on the information the expert will communicate.

They Will Show Up and Leave

In line with above, outside experts usually have their content, report, data or presentation, in which there is little effort made to tailor it to your CAB members, despite whatever promise is made to do so.

They will not participate in the overall meeting planning or prep meetings, and will, essentially, show up for their planned session and leave without any further interaction with you or your customers, which is not in the spirit of a strong CAB program.

Related Article: 5 Ways to Create the Ultimate Customer Advisory Board Meeting for 2022



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