Despite the corporate world’s gradual return to the office, most companies will continue to host their Annual General Meetings (AGMs) online for the foreseeable future.
At the start of the pandemic, hosting your AGM virtually reflected social distancing requirements and global travel restrictions. But now that the vaccine rollout amps up and herd immunity is on the horizon, global health officials recommend cautiously lifting these limitations.
So, why would you continue to present your annual report over the web?
Hosting events virtually has become the new normal of investor conferences for a good reason — four of them, in fact. From higher engagement levels to lower costs, here are the four advantages to sticking to the digital format.
1. You’ll Save Money
The biggest advantage to hosting your AGM online is cost. It’s simply cheaper to organize a digital investor conference over IR technology than it is to host real-life meetings at conference centers.
Think of it this way. You can skip out on all the fees of bringing your shareholders and board of directors under one roof. Airfare, conference center rentals, A/V equipment, IT support, catering, and physical security will all be things of the past.
You’ll only have to invest in webcasting software to help you deliver the best virtual experience possible.
Fortunately, the latest webcasting software requires a one-time investment that’s a fraction of the cost of in-person events, and you’ll be able to use this program for every virtual event.
2. Attendance Will Increase
Once you cut ties to a physical location, you open up access to your AGM to people far and wide. Your shareholders can tune in from anywhere they have a reliable connection to the Internet — even if they’re in another country or time zone.
Optimizing turnout in this way can give you a better understanding of your shareholders. Investors who would ordinarily be absent due to travel times, work obligations, or costs can now sign on instantly.
3. Shareholder Engagement Will Improve
With a broader cross-section of shareholders now participating online, you might notice a change in the questions, polling results, and comments you receive online. This insight will help you pivot to address the needs and concerns of a greater portion of shareholders.
But let’s be honest—it’s not always easy being an active participant online. That’s why it’s essential you choose user-friendly webcasting software that can host interactive polls and Q&A sessions.
4.Virtual AGMs Make Your Company More Accessible
Plenty of your shareholders may experience both visible and invisible disabilities that prevent them from travelling to an in-person investor conference. Sadly, many public places aren’t user-friendly for people who use assistive devices or those who live with vision and hearing impairments.
Virtual AGMs remove these barriers by virtue of transpiring online. People with disabilities won’t have to travel, and they can rely on the assistive technology already set up on their home computers.
According to the World Health Organization, one billion people — or roughly 15 percent of the global population — live with some kind of disability. This stat may have a similar reflection in your shareholder base, so it’s crucial you find IR solutions that help you overcome barriers to accessibility.
Virtual AGMs Are the New Normal
A virtual AGM does everything its in-person predecessor did before COVID-19 changed how you interact with the public. The biggest difference is digital format pulls it off cheaper and more effectively.
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