March 30, 2023
6 Tips To Make Investigator Meetings More Engaging
Do you ever find yourself daydreaming during work meetings? Imagine basking in the sun on a tropical beach far away from the monotony of yet another PowerPoint presentation? Yes, me too (please note: I have not yet attended an official Teckro event 😉).
Let’s face it: a mass of lackluster PowerPoint slides and unengaging speeches can cause even the most enthusiastic of attendees to aimlessly check their phones, waiting restlessly for the break.
But what about investigator meetings (IMs)? These meetings are crucial for ensuring the success of clinical trials, yet they are certainly not immune to the boredom factor. Like many meetings, they can be repetitive, with unoriginal structure and delivery.
That’s why I sat down with two experts in the field to discuss ways to liven up IMs – because frankly we all could use a little more excitement in our lives. So, without further ado, here are six ways to turn your next investigator meeting into the talk of the town – it seems there is hope for PowerPoint yet!
1. Give Attendees a Voice
Organizing investigator meetings can be stressful for project managers. It can be hard to find time to innovate and think outside the box because there are dozens of tasks that need to be completed at the start of the trial, with the IM being just one of them. The information delivered during IMs is essential to the safe management of the trial, so it can be easy to become fixated on the content rather than the format of the meeting. One way to make meetings more interactive and to ease the burden of project managers is to share the workload. Responsibility for sections could be allocated to different groups, giving attendees a greater voice and boosting participation.
2. Get To Know Colleagues
Working virtually is efficient and convenient, but there’s nothing like meeting your colleagues in person. As discussed in our recent Totally Clinical podcast episode, investigator meetings are the first time CRAs are introduced to the sites they are going to manage. To enable conversations to flow naturally, icebreakers could be used to overcome any initial tension or awkwardness. This way, colleagues can feel more relaxed interacting with each other and get more out of the meeting from the outset.
3. Workshop It
Workshops can help to increase focus and engagement during investigator meetings by making them more hands-on, authentic and visual. This way, attendees can associate the study information with specific tasks and real-life scenarios rather than with a PowerPoint presentation, where – let’s face it – the slides often seem to all blur into one!
I think workshops would help us focus on the key elements of what we want to take home with us from these investigator meetings.
Industry Expert & Former CRA
4. Get Creative With Content
Why not bring content to life by making it more exciting and creative? This could be achieved by presenting study information through varying mediums like video or audio and using visual aids to support different concepts.
5. The Power of Prep Work
Information could be provided beforehand for prep-work and organizers could even arrange a pre-meeting survey to gain valuable information on how best to engage attendees. This would not only improve the efficiency of IMs but also increase enthusiasm among participants who would feel more included.
If you do some pre-work and prepare, then you can have a more interactive session that is better for everybody.
Industry Expert & Site Advocate
6. Feedback Is Your Friend
Feedback is essential to identify what worked and what didn’t during investigator meetings. Consider what tools and materials could improve interaction during meetings and how lessons can be applied from past IMs to the future. By connecting with participants after the meeting so they can offer their thoughts, greater trust can be developed and positive momentum can be maintained long after the meeting has finished.
Everyone gains from more engaging investigator meetings. Attendees can view them as an opportunity to learn, meet their colleagues, and to feel part of a team. This can lead to participants gaining greater understanding and retention of study information and improved site performance and relationships.