Despite a Covid vaccine programme being rolled out in the UK, new strains and an increase in cases has led to another national lockdown, pushing back any return to normality even further. Given this, it’s a good idea to make plans for a virtual Annual General Meeting in 2021 for 3 key reasons:
The UK government exemption that allowed companies to suspend their rules on Annual General Meetings expires on 31st December 2020. With the implementation of the Brexit deal, there will be a backlog of parliamentary legislation. There is also shareholder resistance to having a second year where rules are suspended, so the chances of getting that bill amended to allow for another extension are slim.
The Pfizer Vaccine is already being given to the first group of patients. The UK Government has set a vaccine roll out programme that prioritises vulnerable people first. This means that for the majority of the population Social Distancing measures will need to remain in place for most of 2021. If all goes to plan the vaccination of the most vulnerable will be complete by the end of April but this group of people will not be representative of attendees of Annual General Meetings. So it is likely that most non-vulnerable people will be vaccinated through the Spring and Summer.
Physical Annual General Meetings depend very heavily on the business events sector for organisation of spaces, catering and all of the audio-visual infrastructure required to run the event smoothly. This sector has been hit particularly hard by the Coronavirus crisis and the impact is not going to lessen over the winter. This means that there will be a shortage of staff and events business to run the Annual General Meeting. Furthermore a number of conference venues will be utilised by the NHS to provide mass vaccination hubs. So even socially distanced Hybrid Annual General Meetings will be a logistical challenge in 2021.
In 2020 Convene Assembly was used by more than 250 businesses to host their Annual General Meetings, or Shareholder General Meetings. Read about the International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades virtual AGM experience here.
If you are not yet sure about your plans for your Annual General Meeting in 2021 then contact us and one of our product experts will be able to take you through the preparation, after all if 2020 has taught us one thing it is to be prepared.