AGMs are an important part of listed companies. As AGMs are huge opportunities for companies to communicate with their shareholders, and inform them how the business is performing, it is hence, vital to get it right. Due to COVID-19, AGMs are now almost impossible to set up and businesses are looking into virtual AGMs as a way to communicate their successes with their shareholders. Here are some of the key issues to consider when planning for virtual AGMs.
Booking a Location? Why Not Pivot Virtual?
It is important to get your venue right and it is probably the first thing you need to start planning for. With the COVID-19 locking down in almost every countries, it is impossible to book an event venue. The best place would be to create a virtual event space that will allow your shareholders, company representatives and speakers, to come together and have their discussion, all in the comfort of their own home.
Consider booking an event space for your speakers with AV equipment such as video cameras to create a live broadcast to your shareholders. These livestream videos can then be embedded into virtual events platforms, such as our Micepad Virtual Event Web Platform.
Through numerous avenues of virtual event platforms, shareholders are still able to interact with the speakers via a live Q&A, live polling and feedback features.
Notice of Meeting
As soon as the AGM virtual event space has being finalised, you will need to send a Notice of Meeting. An invitation email should be sent to your guests, inviting them to come online and watch the live broadcast and to take part in the live discussion via the virtual event web platform. You may need to include their log in details, depending on the security of the AGM, so that the guests can authenticate themselves upon logging into the platform.
As virtual AGMs will be sorely reliant on technology, you need to ensure that your chosen medium of live streaming method and virtual event platform are able to cope with your requirements. There is a sharp upward trend that virtual meetings are now actively streamed, viewed by a wider spectrum of audience that comprises of investors and stakeholders. Ensure that the chosen location meets your technological requirements regarding audio, video streaming or other technological innovations.
It is important to have an investor relations strategy. If you do not have your own IR Department, consider purchasing the services of a good and trusted IR Consultant to help you manage the relationships with your shareholders.
Contingency Planning Points to Take Note
- Set up alternative broadcasting room with conference equipment.
- Prepare for backup hosts and presentation laptops.
- Verify connectivity to back up network connection.
Helpful Tips for hosting A Seamless Virtual AGM
- Have a customer support number available for members who encounter technical difficulties.
- Ensure all participants are automatically muted upon logging in.
- Notify all members that the meeting proceedings will be recorded and will be readily available for access. Recommended archive period is minimally a year.
- Rehearse. For a virtual AGM to be conducted smoothly, it is important to hold multiple rehearsals using actual presentation materials, presenters and equipment. We do not wish to let down any shareholders or internal stakeholders expectations due to a lack of rehearsal.
When companies are unable to hold a virtual AGM or have already planned and given notice of a physical AGM, directors should ensure they have considered adequate powers they have in relation to any last minute adjournments to the meeting which might be out of their control – for example, as a result of the escalation of government restrictions. For instance, large venues booked for a physical AGM may be subject to temporary closures at short notice if a confirmed COVID-19 case is discovered prior to the meeting.
Expiry Dates. Companies must also be mindful of the latest date to conduct their AGM. Where a company’s articles require retirement by rotation and the company fails to hold an AGM by the last date on which it could have been held, some or all of the company’s directors could be deemed to have retired as at that latest date, even though the AGM was not held. Directors should ensure that enough directors will remain in office if the company is unable to hold its AGM by the stipulated time.
How We Can Help
Social distancing is quickly becoming the norm, and traditional AGMs where shareholders gather to hear CEO presentations and ask questions are simply no longer feasible. However, in the absence of face-to-face meetings, it is vital that companies, shareholders and investors can interact with each other.
To find out how Micepad Virtual Event Platform can help you run your AGM smoothly, engage more shareholders and allow remote viewing, contact us here.