With the tumultuous time we have had the past few years, the way we work has had to shift. The Covid-19 Pandemic is ongoing and the dramatic shift in restrictions has meant that many have decided to have their AGMs as a virtual event. We have some top tips on how this can be done and what to consider when making your decisions.
What Questions To Ask Before Hosting A Virtual AGM?
- How will you monitor shareholder activity?
An Annual General Meeting is a time for the shareholder’s to have their say and make joint decisions with Board Members on important issues. Therefore, a clear consensus is needed, which can be tricky with a virtual setting.
You need to ensure that every voice is given weight, not just the one with the best internet connection. This means polls, voting and surveys at regular intervals.
How will you determine who speaks when?
Will you have a meeting host? Will you have to put up your hand before speaking? Will you have speeches and then breakout rooms? These are all considerations that need to be thought about.
A big part of an AGM is the social aspect, it is a time to share ideas between shareholders and board members who may not always have an opportunity to speak to each other on a regular basis.
How will the speeches be conducted?
An essential part of an AGM is presenting the facts for the past year and the plans for the next. This means that you need to consider how your speakers will deliver their speeches. Will you go for pre-recorded speeches that will be available to watch at whim or scheduled times. Or would live streamed speeches be more appropriate?
If you opt for live streaming, it is essential that you do a test-run. You do not want any hiccups with the wifi during the speech, there is nothing worse in a meeting than a frozen screen.
How will you monitor attendance?
Ensuring everyone is involved means knowing who is present. At an in-person AGM you would have sign up sheets and track attendance through physical means.
If you have a virtual AGM then you should ensure you have technology that will monitor the attendance of your participants.
How will you host your virtual AGM?
It will be tricky to host your virtual AGM on your traditional collaborative software such as Teams or even a Board Portal. You should consider investing in an e-AGM software product so you can ensure a secure and seamless virtual AGM.
What should you consider when selecting a provider for a virtual AGM?
When you choose an e-AGM product there are 3 main considerations you should take into account.
Your AGM is a time for discussion of sensitive matters and voting on future plans, the absolute last thing you want at that moment is a security breach.
You should select a provider that has a proven track record of good security. There are also security standards that you should check they have obtained such as: ISO (u9001, 27001, 27017, and 27018) and AICPA (SOC 1/2/3)
You should ensure that whichever provider you choose has features that will not only enable your virtual AGM but enhance it.
At the bare minimum, you need to verify that there are proper protocols in place to monitor voting and submitting questions, as well as integrated video conferencing. You should also consider if there are any other features you would require specifically for your organisation.
Virtual AGMs can be tricky so you need to make sure the software provider you select has dedicated support. AGMs are the biggest event of the year, so you can’t afford any screw ups!
It would also be useful if the e-AGM host offered a test-run so you could feel 100% comfortable on the day of the event!
How Can Convene Help You With Your Virtual AGM?
Convene’s e-AGM product is one of the leading virtual AGM hosts. In fact, we recently hosted the Chartered Governance Institute’s virtual AGM. We offer unlimited support including a free dry-run of the event and ‘on-site’ support throughout the day.
Our features are dynamic and designed to help you have a smooth running AGM. If you would like to learn more, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us!