Holding a client educational meeting? Consider these tips for success

By Jerry Rusch, DVM

Hosting an educational meeting can be a great way to enhance your relationship with clients. A well-executed meeting can create good will and trust and positively affect clinic revenue. A successful client meeting just doesn’t happen, however. It requires strategic planning that involves numerous steps and attention to detail.
Veterinary client meeting

Choose your topic

A client meeting is a good avenue to share pertinent information with a group of people. The meeting’s topic needs to be of great interest or great value to your clients, as this provides the draw for them to attend. Topic choice dictates whom the audience should be and the size of attendance. For example, the topic may be a seasonal product that you introduce ahead of when clients will use it. You may even consider offering a special price on the product at the meeting.

Determine audience and size

The topic or product discussed and the species targeted will determine the size of the audience. Consider if your meeting will target a larger group of clients who care for a particular species or be a smaller meeting of your top 15 clients. A larger event allows you to disseminate information to a greater mass at one time; a smaller meeting allows for easier oneon- one discussion and exchange of ideas among those in attendance. Either of these meetings can be molded around a budget.

Consider partnering up

Food is often an essential component of client meetings. You can offer clients breakfast, sit-down dinner, an outdoor barbeque, or even just desserts. The food needs to be of good quality and, if it is a beef producer meeting, good beef is the protein of choice to serve.

Partnering with a pharmaceutical company to help defray the cost of the meal is a possibility. Manufacturer companies are very willing to help pay for and provide a speaker, as well as assist in meeting planning. One word of caution is to make sure you are comfortable with the speaker’s topic. Talk to the sales representative or speaker beforehand to ensure they understand your audience and your expectations.

Select an appropriate venue

Audience size and budget will dictate your venue selection. The important thing is to make sure your meeting room can comfortably accommodate your number of guests. For example, nearby us is a very nice state park inn with a large Hosting an educational meeting can be a great way to enhance your relationship with clients. A well-executed meeting can create good will and trust and positively affect clinic revenue. A successful client meeting just doesn’t happen, however. It requires strategic planning that involves numerous steps and attention to detail. 24 Business management banquet room that has worked very well for our large groups. A smaller meeting may be better suited to a banquet room in a steak house or more upscale venue depending on your clientele.

One caveat is to make sure your clients are attending for the information and not to feed their family. When inviting clients to a larger gathering, this can be accomplished with this wording on the invitation: “You and those directly associated with your operation are invited to attend.” For smaller meetings, call the client and personally invite and inform them that attendance is very limited. A follow-up phone call — or even a text reminder — to the client a couple of days ahead is a good idea.


MWI is here to help support clinics and their producer customers. To find out how to partner with MWI to plan and execute a client meeting, reach out to your MWI Animal Health Territory Manager.

Meeting tips from MWI Territory Managers

MWI Territory Managers Carter Johnson, Black Hawk, S.D., and Trudy Lickfelt, Hutchinson, Minn., often help present client meetings in partnership with their veterinary clients.


They offer their top tips here:

  • Be sure to have a quality topic and a quality speaker.
  • Make it very clear to the presenter how much time they have, including questions.
  • If you are splitting meeting expense with a manufacturer, find out their exact budget.
  • Decide who is paying for what and have these details figured out ahead.
  • Involve clinic staff in event; set up and organize meeting room ahead of guest arrival and greet guests at door.
  • If the clinic is going to market a product, be sure to have it on display.
  • Have at least one clinic veterinarian lead off the meeting with introductions. Introduce clinic staff to help build client relationships, in addition to MWI and manufacturer representatives.

Additional tips:

  • Reserve a meeting room that doesn’t compete for sound, i.e. open area of a restaurant; the hustle and bustle can drown out a speaker.
  • Monitor the presenter’s number of slides so they don’t overwhelm.
  • Be concise and allow time for questions.

Johnson and Lickfelt say the best meetings are when the presenter directs listeners to ask questions as they arise. “Allowing a meeting to be informal enough so people are comfortable having a discussion as the meeting unfolds is very effective.”

To plan a successful client meeting:

  • Select a topic
  • Select a speaker
  • Set a budget
  • Select a venue
  • Select and invite a target client audience
  • Formulate and follow a meeting agenda
  • Secure audio-visual equipment as necessary
  • Follow up with a client reminder before meeting

Other important points:

  • Assign a greeter
  • Utilize a sign-in sheet
  • Assign a moderator
  • Introduce your staff
  • Announce door prizes just before meeting wrap-up