Annual general meetings are mandatory for many companies around the world. In response to the pandemic, many governments have made it possible to run such meetings remotely.
Learn how to structure and organize a virtual AGM to squeeze the best out of the remote format.
Project and Foundations for the eAGM
Organizing an effective remote AGM depends on your preparation. We can liken it to the construction of a building.
First, you need to recognize the idea behind the project. In other words, what are the goals to achieve during the remote shareholder meeting? For example, vote on current issues like appointment of board members.
Second, you have to build the foundation for the “construction.” The foundation is all the technical aspects that you have to prepare to run the virtual meeting.
To do this, you need two things:
- Software for the annual general meeting
- Hardware to run the software
The software for a remote AGM has to accommodate all the attendee. Similarly, it is like the venue for an AGM that has to be large enough to house a specified number of attendees.
Other features a remote annual general meeting software should have are:
- Live voting
- Live Q&A
Live voting and Q&A features help ensure interaction and engagement during the virtual AGM. With this, they let participants vote and view the results in real-time. In the same way, conducting webcasts also improves interaction and adds greater immersion to the eAGM.
Thus, the key is to make the virtual AGM resemble the traditional format as closely as possible.
As for the hardware , you need a fast, stable and reliable bandwidth. As such, a fast internet connection helps prevent any delays in transmission. Also, when looking for an eAGM software, consider solutions that are compatible with multiple devices. You and the eAGM attendees should be able to connect via mobile phones or tablets.
Interaction, engagement, and a seamless meeting experience can result to higher attendance rates.
Furthermore, to protect the data of your participants shared during the meeting, ensure your AGM software solution is equipped with robust security features. Security features such as encryption, role-based access control, and multi-step authentication can prevent anyone from obtaining sensitive data.
Choosing Construction Materials to Prepare the Meeting
With project guidelines and foundations ready, it’s time to prepare the “construction materials.”
In the case of an eAGM, this is the agenda and shareholder questions. A well-designed agenda should be distributed in advance. This helps the attendees familiarize themselves with the materials and prepare relevant questions for the board.
AGM software should be equipped with a tool that facilitates the preparation and secure distribution of the AGM agenda.
Interior Works — Running the Meeting
At this point, you can begin working on the interior — running the AGM.
A virtual AGM should be governed by the same rules of conduct as a traditional AGM. In this way, formal rules of conduct move the meeting forward in the planned direction and ensure all items on the agenda are addressed.
Formal rules of conduct are similar to well-designed interior. Everything should fit and work seamlessly.
The rules of conduct should explain in detail the discussion and question processing procedures. Remember to briefly remind the participants about the rules for asking questions, voting, and starting discussions when the AGM begins.
Here are the best practices to follow for your annual general meeting:
- Don’t deviate from the agenda — some attendees may want to join the AGM to participate in a specific agenda item.
- Ensure participant engagement during discussions — elicit responses and discussions from as many participants as possible to get an objective view.
- Encourage Q&A participation — if your eAGM solution has that feature, consider allowing anonymous shareholder questions during the meeting to bring out and tackle difficult questions.
- Speak slowly with adequate pauses to help attendees understand you better.
Exterior Polish — What to Do after an eAGM
No building can be finished without proper exterior work. The same goes for the shareholder meeting – the post-AGM activities.
After the eAGM, you have to do final touches that ensure that you get the most out from an AGM. Considering everything that could happen in the meeting – from voting and discussions to Q&A sessions – there would most likely yield a slew of information to be processed and further analyzed.
Here are the key tasks to do after an AGM:
- Organize and clean up meeting minutes
- Distribute the minutes in a timely fashion (at least within a week after the meeting)
- Analyze decisions made and voting results to prepare the next steps
- Look into action items to incorporate them into the business strategy
If you need more information about remote annual shareholder meetings, refer to our eAGM FAQ.
Organize a Successful Annual Shareholder Meeting
Running an effective and engaging annual general meeting entails a lot of preparation and consideration. However, with a properly constructed foundation, good-quality materials, elegant interior, and polished exterior, a virtual AGM can be just as effective for shareholders as a traditional shareholder meeting.
AGM-Convene helps board members plan and organize an annual general meeting with a set of convenient and intuitive tools. See how AGM@Convene makes it easy to organize and run the annual shareholder meeting.