Your Virtual AGM 2022: Engage Your Shareholders Using Technology.
With the hit of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of things changed for businesses. The inability to meet physically prompted companies to engage their shareholders through virtual Annual General Meetings (AGMs).
If you want to be both innovative and thought-provoking to further build the trust of shareholders, virtual AGMs are the answer. In case you are not sure how these work, don’t worry. This blog will provide a solution to all your problems.
In-Person v/s Virtual AGM : Shareholder Engagement
For several years, in-person Annual General Meetings are being conducted by businesses for sharing their opinions on the companies’ performance and goals with shareholders. However, with the barriers of social distancing, the need to conduct these virtually arose.
Which mode, do you think, would have achieved better shareholder engagement?
Well, let’s first understand what a virtual AGM really is. In the simplest terms, virtual annual general meetings are the online meetings that occur every year between the company’s shareholders and the director.
Virtual AGMs allow the attendees to discuss the organization’s performance along with setting objectives for the forthcoming year. The shareholders can vote as well as participate online.
Due to numerous reasons like travel restrictions, several companies have perceived their shareholders as passive observers. However, with the introduction of online event platforms, a majority of these have noted increased shareholder engagement.
Some shareholders tend to shy away or restrict themselves from asking questions in traditional meetings. This is no longer an issue during online meetings since virtual AGM platforms allow shareholders to vote, submit queries, and speak out.
Moreover, they can share their opinions by answering surveys and even asking questions at the end of the sessions. In case a shareholder wishes to, he or she can also ask the question anonymously.
All this means that the company’s interests and goals are taken care of in an even better manner.
Why to Organize a Virtual AGM in 2022?
A majority of you might have hosted the traditional AGMs earlier but conducting these meetings on an online event platform has a completely different method. So why step out of the comfort zone and organize AGMs virtually?
During the 2021 AIRA Annual Conference, the managing director of Computershare stated that an “AGM Revolution” is upcoming since organizations support the cost-effectiveness and augmented attendance offered by virtual AGMs.
If you still aren’t convinced, let us have a look at the benefits associated with such virtual meetings.
For several organizations, among the major drawbacks of organizing a traditional AGM is the cost involved, especially when the number of attendees is low. Some of the factors contributing to these high costs are:
- Booking a venue
- Travel expenses of attendees
- Catering (food and drinks)
Even though traditional AGMs have several advantages, they are outweighed by the costs when the turnout is low.
A virtual AGM, on the other hand, is cost-effective since it allows companies to save money due to the dropped necessity of a majority of these expenses.
Higher Attendance and Accessibility
Jimmy Choo organized the primary virtual AGM in the United Kingdom in June 2016. According to records, the attendance was way more as compared to the traditional AGM conducted by the company a year before. Why did this happen?
Clearly, apart from the restrictions of the pandemic, virtual AGMs solve the problems of low turnout. It is because the shareholders who are not able to give money and time to travel for attending in-person meetings can also join.
Reduced geographical barriers also imply higher accessibility since the shareholders with disabilities or health problems can also attend AGMs – attracting a number of investors from around the world.
Virtual AGMs are greatly trackable as compared to the traditional AGMs, which have limits. Due to technological advancements, the analytics of virtual meetings can be traced.
Beginning from the finalization of the date of AGM to the ending of the meeting, various factors can be recorded, including:
- Number of queries
- Number of attendees
By analyzing these metrics, the company can easily evaluate the overall performance and results of the meeting.
One of the key advantages of virtual AGMs is device compatibility. Whether it is a smartphone, a desktop, or a laptop, the board of directors as well as the shareholders can attend these meetings using any device and without any geographical constraints.
The pros that technology brings to these meetings make it even more convenient for the attendees.
Virtual AGMs bring so much to the table that even getting to know about their benefits may become exhaustive. Nonetheless, the extent to which they help in B2B communications is highly commendable.
With the continuous advancements in technology, AGMs may offer even more advantages to businesses over time. The way in which they have contributed to the transformation of shareholders from passive listeners to active speakers is reason enough for companies to switch from traditional AGMs.