Virtual Annual Meetings have become increasingly commonplace so our friends at InRider Partners* have used the past 12 months of experience to put together some top tips on how to run one successfully.
Given what we know today, and what we’ve heard from LPs, the best solution for most this year is a virtual AGM. While we wish we could be together with our LPs, it is unlikely that you will have a meaningful in-person experience with only 20% of usual in-person attendees. A virtual AGM allows you to develop a clear plan and gives your LPs the information they need. We’ll be back together in person soon.
We’ve learnt some things after a year of virtual AGMs. Here are InRider Partners’ top tips:
𝐎𝐍𝐄: Include a live Q&A and tell your LPs about it in advance. Off-the-cuff, informal communication during the Q&A strengthens the connection with LPs and mitigates the remoteness of the virtual format. You could even consider doing two (brief) live Q&As to break up the meeting. Make sure you have plant questions ready to get the ball rolling!
𝐓𝐖𝐎: Speaking of the Q&A, keep the “ask a question” feature private and make sure your LPs know that it is private. People are more likely to ask questions when they know other viewers won’t see their names.
𝐓𝐇𝐑𝐄𝐄: Pre-record everything but the live Q&A. That way you can get each presentation right, you won’t worry about bad connections, and you won’t have team members fumbling with their audio (𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶, 𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘩–𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘎𝘗𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘶𝘯𝘮𝘶𝘵𝘦).
𝐅𝐎𝐔𝐑: Mix it up. Insert short chats with portfolio company CEOs between longer discussions about process or performance. Consider including video of the portfolio companies or your team. Move from seeing one person to two people to three people on the screen. The bar has been raised by a year of virtual events.
𝐅𝐈𝐕𝐄: Don’t read from a script. We know this is oh-so-tempting, especially if you’re pre-recording. But don’t do it. Instead, prepare bullet points for your guide. You’ll speak more naturally, which keeps the energy up, and that keeps your LPs engaged. You know your material; you don’t need a script. Trust us.
Combine InRider’s advice with a secure investor communications solution like PEARonline to help you focus on the important things, and not sweat the small stuff.
* InRider provides best practice investor relations, combining expertise and value in an outsourced solution. We bring decades of experience in sourcing investors, fostering relationships and developing effective strategic communications programs.