Planning Your Investor Event

Planning Your Investor Event

Planning your investor event day & why it’s important you do it right

I’ve spoken lots about retail shareholders in the past year, with the retail shareholder voice becoming increasingly loud as issues of social conscience were discussed.

 

Pragmatically, from a business viewpoint it is less than ideal yet it’s certainly a momentum that’s gaining traction in both the US and Globally.

 

Investor Relations specialists are finally recognizing that an investor with even a single share has the power to disrupt and affect outcomes at the AGM and therefore actively engaging with this influential stakeholder group has become key to maintaining a dialogue and reaching consensus.

 

News about events such as the partnership between BlackRock and Proximity to allow underlying beneficial owners to exercise their voting rights signaled the start of a wider trend of shareholder democracy. And ultimately, underneath every institutional investor, custodian or broker is of course an individual retail shareholder.

 

A word of caution

 

Specific retail investor events, access to key board members and feedback sessions are all tools that forward-thinking Financial PR Agencies are using to engage the retail base. However, members of the investment community need a compelling reason to travel to an investor event and analyst day.

 

While those with a more activist shareholder mindset will travel regardless, more passive shareholders should be encouraged to attend to mitigate the activist voice.

 

Beware though the notion of inviting your shareholders to larger events you may attend. These larger Investor Shows and events should be a forum to engage new shareholders and network with other companies and professionals.

 

Do not invite your shareholders to events where there are other companies exhibiting, however tempting an event organizer sounds.

 

Planning your investor event

 

Planning and holding an engaging investor event requires a deep understanding of your shareholder base, as well as the ability to build a forum for discourse and communication. Here, then, is how to plan and provide high-value investor day experiences for shareholders.

 

Embrace event technology

 

Creating a forum for discussion starts by giving shareholders the right tools to participate. And technology can empower companies to create exceptional user experiences at each touch point of their investor day.

 

For example, using a virtual or hybrid meeting platform can help you to stay in control of every aspect of your event, from the registration of attendees – which helps tackle the issue of investor identification – to providing a secure channel for remote attendees to ask questions during the Q&A.

 

Flawless tech experiences also foster trust, so actions like using a meeting platform to conduct proceedings can help set a positive tone for the future of the relationship.

 

However, it’s also important to be aware of the positives and limitations of the technology you employ. For example, although social media provides a direct way to engage with retail investors and convey your business’ wider message, I would say the reputation risk of doing so outweighs the benefits.

 

Make your presentation engaging – please!

 

Firms that host investor event days have been linked to higher performance, showing stronger relative returns than those that don’t. This doesn’t mean you’re definitely set for success just by holding an analyst day.

 

It’s important to make your investor day presentation memorable and compelling. Showcasing the key messages and goals your business is striving toward will give investors confidence and a clear understanding of where your company is headed.

 

Using multiple speakers from various parts of your business – from marketing to finance – is an effective way to educate investors on the health and potential of the business as a whole and helps crystallize your messaging.

 

Also think about combining multiple formats to convey your message by, for example, combining video with your slideshow or presentation.

 

Choose the best format for your needs

 

Is it super important to get management back out on the road for events? I tend to agree that virtual events leave management more time to get on with running the organization.

 

The case for virtual IR events is strong and the venue for your investor day needn’t be confined to bricks and mortar.

 

I’ve spoken at many hybrid investor meetings and marketing events and I find them very useful (even though I’m a traditionalist who prefers to attend in-person).

 

The hybrid format offers a ‘best of both worlds’ solution to investors, allowing for increased attendance and engagement, and looks to be a trend that will continue.

 

Whatever venue you choose, make sure it is accessible, can be customized and branded effectively and caters to the event format you opt for, whether that be virtual, hybrid or in person.

 

Make Q&A the central focus

 

To create an engaging Q&A session during your investor event, assign a generous portion of time for your panel to answer questions. Remember that one of the main drivers for investors to attend the event is to get face-to-face time with senior management and members of the C-suite, so give them plenty of opportunities to field and respond to questions from the audience, both in person and virtually.

 

Making sure your team is prepared to take questions from both a technical and a knowledgeable standpoint is essential.

 

If there’s a virtual element to the meeting, use a technology partner that can expertly handle the question portion of the session.

 

Industry in general is moving further away from antiquated call-in meetings and is instead embracing video, so think about embracing this format during your event to provide a richer shareholder experience.

 

With the help of a modern meeting platform, businesses can ensure the Q&A portion of the investor event day is informative and memorable.

 

With features like video questions, the ability to integrate verbal questions into the broadcasting capabilities and low-latency broadcasting – which improves the flow of the Q&A , online analysts are increasingly able to be seen as well as heard during investor days.

 

Anticipate investor challenges

 

There are steps you can take to minimize the risk of activist shareholders. For example, if you decide to use a virtual meeting format for your investor day, you can use a meeting provider that has the technology in place to give the meeting organizer full control of the question queue, mitigating the risk of any unmoderated questions slipping through the net.

 

Financial PR professionals have the power to steer the narrative of their investor day but, in the spirit of preparedness, should always be aware ahead of time of the issues that might create friction at the event.

 

Ultimately, investor days offer a valuable forum for discussion, and technology is actively advancing their value. For businesses pursuing growth, formulating a detailed plan and investing in the right tools today will set your business up for investor success.

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Alexander Bentley-Sutherland is the visionary founder behind More Profitable Marketing (MPM+). With a dynamic career spanning over two decades in the digital marketing and Financial PR sector in the United States, SE Asia and the UK. More Profitable Marketing help clients in all sectors at every stage of their business journey: from start up firms to large International businesses. Our growth-focused initiatives, bespoke media relations and content-rich campaigns. MPM+ powers significant growth and delivers exceptional Return on Investment.