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How to make your next clinical trial investigator meeting more engaging.

Over the past 20 years, Praxis has participated in countless clinical trial investigator meetings. These meetings have allowed us to engage with nearly everyone involved in clinical trials – from principal investigators to study coordinators – regarding our patient recruitment strategy. They have also given us the opportunity to witness different approaches sponsors take to involve their investigators and study coordinators when kicking off clinical trials.

Recently, the Praxis team attended an investigator meeting where everyone actively participated in the meeting. How do you as a sponsor foster that level of engagement? Read on for some of our thoughts on how to make your next investigator meeting a success.

Get to know your neighbor.

Start with an icebreaker to encourage interaction between clinical trial investigators and their study coordinators. If you have a smaller group, go around the room for introductions. If your group is on the larger side, set up a table-by-table activity that allows those seated together to learn an interesting fact about each person in their immediate vicinity. These types of activities allow for more natural networking and collaboration during the scheduled breaks.

Frame the content of the meeting in a fun way.

While the main purpose of the meeting is to discuss the science of the study and other topics critical to trial success, try to find creative, interactive ways to frame up the content. For example, host a game show with study-related content, or have a team activity to facilitate discussions surrounding protocol criteria.

At one investigator meeting Praxis attended, a sponsor hosted an activity where the clinical research site teams were assigned to random teams. They worked together to build their ideal patient. The medical director acted as the “judge” and reviewed each team’s submission. This activity opened up the lines of communication and was a great opportunity for investigative site teams to learn from their peers.

At the end of the day, the enthusiasm was palpable. Clinical trial investigators and their support staff were engaging with one another, asking the sponsor study team questions, and approaching the medical director to clarify protocol criteria.

Keep the lines of communication open.

Investigative site teams want to hear from their sponsor contact after such a fun and engaging investigator meeting. Connecting with sites so they can ask questions or provide feedback about the meeting will continue the positive momentum even after the site teams have arrived home. Praxis does this by promptly following up with a shipment of study-branded materials and details about the recruitment support discussed at the investigator meeting. When collaboration between the sponsor study team, Praxis, and the investigative sites is seamless, we see positive results for both the sponsor and the clinical trial investigators.

When you set out to plan your next investigator meeting, consider what makes them worthwhile for attendees – new relationships, a better understanding of the clinical trial investigators’ needs, and a thorough understanding of the sponsor’s goals. Then work backward to plan a meeting that will deliver on those points in an engaging way. If you ever want a second opinion on your agenda or help coming up with fun activities, get in touch with us.