A convergence of the physical and virtual world has been gaining momentum around the globe. As we walked ahead of time, hybrid AGM is gaining immense popularity and it has been anticipated as the future of annual general meetings.
Hybrid AGM or a virtual AGM are hosted on the virtual AGM platform that allows you to reach shareholders residing in any corner of the world thus enhancing attendance and participation. AGM video conferencing allows you to have face-to-face interactions and deliver immersive experiences to attendees in real-time.
Traditional AGMs are held between the director of the company and the shareholders every year. The director presents the overall performance and strategies of the company. Various discussions about upcoming year goals and strategies take place. Due to geographical constraints, many interested shareholders miss making it to in-person AGM meetings.
As we stepped into a gateway of digitalization, Virtual AGM came into existence and is used by many organizations. Virtual AGMs allow attendees to join the meeting online from the comfort of their own space and have discussions via interactive engagement tools.
What is a Hybrid AGM?
Hybrid AGM works on the combination of these two approaches: physical in-person meetings and virtual formats. It allows attendees to attend the meeting in-person and shareholders who are unable to make it can attend it online remotely irrespective of their geographical location. It enables a maximum number of attendees to be part of the meeting however resulting in increased participation and engagement. Read about the ways to improve shareholder engagement in virtual AGMs.
Hybrid meetings are a one-stop solution for bringing an online generation and old generation of shareholders under one roof virtually. The newer generation of millennials prefers joining the meeting online from the comfort of their own space. The older generation still believes in turning up at the meeting physically. Hybrid AGM offers endless possibilities for the organizers to leverage from. The basics of hosting a hybrid or virtual AGM remain the same.
Planning to host a virtual or hybrid AGM on the best virtual AGM platform? Engaging attendees remotely throughout the meeting with eAGM video conferencing is a must. In this article, we have shared a few considerations to host a successful hybrid AGM. Right from the notice of meeting to organizing Q&A sessions once the meeting gets over, we’ve got everything covered. We have covered all the key elements of your meetings to make your hybrid AGM run seamlessly without any glitches and constraints and deliver the same experiences as in-person meetings.
Benefits of hosting Hybrid AGMs
Hybrid AGMs offer many more benefits when compared to an in-person meeting. We have enumerated some of the most common advantages of hybrid AGM below, have a look:
#1. Overcomes geographical constraints
Some shareholders may miss out on attending an in-person AGM due to geographical barriers or time constraints involved in traveling. With hybrid AGM, the constraint of geographical limitations gets completely resolved. The flexibility of the event format allows attendees to either participate in the meeting by visiting an on-site location or tune in from their remote locations to be a part of the AGM. Geographical limitations remain no more a hurdle in attending an AGM with a hybrid format.
#2. Reduction in expenses
Hybrid AGM considerably reduces the cost involved in venue, food & drinks, accommodation, and all the other relevant cost involved. You no longer have to book a venue with a larger capacity as a small segment of participants will attend the AGM in person. A large segment of attendees will attend an AGM virtually. Thus resulting in lowering the cost involved in food & drinks, booking accommodations, and more.
#3. Allows you to hire more experienced speakers
Hybrid AGM enables you to hire more professional and experienced speakers. With in-person AGMs, there are certain restrictions that do not allow you to hire an expert speaker of your choice. Some speakers might no agree to visit an on-site location due to geographical constraints whereas some charge higher prices to visit the location. Hybrid AGM resolves such barriers and allows the speaker to deliver the speech from a remote location wherever they are located. All they need is a strong and reliable internet connection, a good quality microphone, a camera, and a laptop. And they are all set to deliver a speech that images attendees effortlessly.
#4. Reduction in carbon footprints
The number of in-person attendees gets reduced with hybrid AGMs. A larger proportion of stakeholders will take part in the AGM virtually from remote locations at their convenience. Thus resulting in lowering carbon emissions and showing a positive impact on the environment.
#5. Track real-time data analytics
Having an accurate report of physical AGMs is just impossible. Tracking registrations is the only way to measure the performance of the AGM. But, with hybrid AGM you can have a complete track of the meeting right from the number of registrations to questions asked during the hybrid AGM with the help of the digital footprinting feature offered by the platform. Whereas keeping a record of a small segment of in-person attendees is relatively easy compared to large gatherings. Data captured during hybrid AGMs helps in measuring performance metrics.
How to Host a Successful Hybrid or Virtual AGM?
As the financial year comes to a close, a large number of companies around the world gear up for hosting annual general meetings. In AGMs, the overall performance of the company and strategies are being presented in front of shareholders.
Annual general meetings are one of the most important and mandatory events for any organization. To host a successful Hybrid AGM keeping certain considerations in mind is a must to get it right and achieve maximum results.
#1. Select the right Virtual AGM Platform
Selecting upon the venue both physical and virtual beforehand is a must. The best venues get booked early, so it becomes important to look into it and start planning it as soon as possible.
To attend in-person meeting members are traveling from different locations, selecting a physical location that is convenient and approachable is the right choice to go with. A location with transportation links and easy to reach and comes within your budget is a perfect fit for hosting annual general meetings. To host a hybrid AGM you need to select a venue in a digital environment too. Go with the best virtual AGM platform that is safe and secure and enables AGM video conferencing. Platform with advanced interactive tools such as audio/video/text chats for one-on-one interactions, options for organizing polls, surveys, and Q&A sessions engage the audience remotely while Live streaming your AGM.
#2. Inform about the format of your Annual General Meeting to shareholders
Once you finalize the venue for your hybrid AGM, informing members about the meeting comes next. Send details to members via email to physical attendees. Hybrid meetings allow shareholders to join in remotely thus enabling them to join from anywhere. You need to send the username and the password along with the direct link to the members who are willing to join the meeting online, so they can join the meeting virtually at the right date and time.
#3. Send a video guide to virtual participants
Once you know who all are attending a hybrid AGM virtually, send them a video guide via email. It makes it easy for them to explore various aspects of the meeting. Not all participants are familiar with the technology, a video guide will help them to easily navigate each aspect while making their journey easy and seamless.
#4. Check for Technical Glitches
Check the technical issues before the actual meeting. With time, annual general meetings have become technologically advanced. Look out beforehand that the physical venue meets technological demands or not. Check whether it involves audio, video, live streaming, or any other technical requirements.
A strong internet connection with strong bandwidth during hosting a virtual meeting is required so that it can hold large audiences. Run a test to check for any technical glitches. To run a hybrid AGM, check the venue’s internet facility and if it is capable of supporting a livestream.
#5. Quick and Easy Set-Up
The setup for your virtual or hybrid AGM should be simple, easy, and convenient. It makes it easy for members to join in remotely and you get enough time to concentrate on reports shared during meetings rather than explaining the technical functionalities to remote attendees.
#6. Have a dedicated room for breakout sessions
Apart from having dedicated rooms for meetings, have a dedicated room for breakout sessions as well. It will allow participants to interact with each other and have open discussions.
#7. Keep virtual settings private
AGMs are the most important event for any organisation that involves an exchange of information that is crucial for any company. Additionally, future strategies for the coming year are discussed during the meeting. When a virtual component is attached to the AGM, the organisation may become skeptical about the data loss during meetings. To prevent the risk of data breaching, keep your hybrid AGM settings private. It makes sure that only stakeholders with the meeting link can access it and not any bots or unauthorized third parties.
#8. Look for Investor Relations
Whether you hold experience in hosting annual general meetings and having discussions with shareholders or are dealing with shareholders for the very first time, working upon an investor relation strategy is a must. Getting a piece of expert advice and support is very useful. Take the help of the investor relations department or consultant to manage relations with shareholders residing around the globe.
#9. Do rehearsals before the actual date
Doing rehearsals before the hybrid AGM is always recommended. It will help you in identifying your flaws and improve them before the actual event. You can record yourself while doing rehearsals to catch where you went wrong and work on them. Bonus tip: Do rehearsals in a professional dress code and work on the impediments if you find any while rehearsing.
#10. Keep plan B ready in hand
Be always prepared for the worse and keep a backup plan in hand. As hybrid AGM involves a virtual component and technical issues may arise any time even after several checks, having a plan B in hand prevents your AGM from falling flat on the face. You can opt to record important sessions beforehand to keep your meeting flow smoothly event if any technical glitch arises at the last moment.
Few tips to follow during Hybrid AGM
- Prepare the script keeping both the set of attendees in mind: i.e virtual as well as in-person for hybrid AGM.
- Keep your virtual attendees engaged during hybrid AGMs by organising live polls, Q&A sessions, surveys, and more.
- Allow attendees to interact in real-time with other participants. It is relatively easy for in-person attendees as they are surrounded by other attendees. Offer enormous networking opportunities for virtual participants to interact in real-time and have meaningful conversations just like physical participants.
- Do not forget to follow up once the AGM ends. It helps in gaining the valuable feedbacks of the participants.
With the rapid rise of the digital age, hybrid AGMs are likely to grow more in the coming times. If you have not yet thought about hosting a hybrid AGM, now is the time to get started and embrace the innovative ways to engage shareholders remotely.