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Pharmaceutical companies regularly conduct advisory boards and other meetings with health care providers (HCPs) such as doctors, nurses, and pharmacists. These meetings are important for getting feedback on new clinical trial results, competitors’ products, or educational campaigns.

However, they are typically expensive and require participants to travel long distances and take time away from their work and families. When hosted in person, there are also issues with not everyone being able to contribute as much as they want, and people living in remote or underserved communities are often excluded. These days, pharmaceutical companies have a choice between hosting meetings in person, virtually, or using a hybrid (mixed) approach.

In making this choice, the cost and organizer’s preference are usually considered, but very few people ask the participants what they prefer. To help answer this question, we conducted a short feedback survey among 443 HCPs participating in virtual advisory boards.

We found that HCPs prefer to meet at least 2–4 times per year using a mix of web meetings and virtual discussion forums where they can contribute on their own time over a 2- to 3-week period. Hybrid meetings (in-person meetings with the option to attend virtually) are preferred over in-person–only meetings. According to HCPs, the top benefits of virtual meetings include their convenience and flexibility, small environmental footprint, and improved diversity.

In conclusion, this article shows the importance of customizing pharmaceutical meetings based on the participants’ preferences.

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