Annual meetings have been an integral part of organisations and were previously hosted in physical locations. The meeting is conducted between shareholders and board members in order to plan and create an annual budget for their business. However, with the rapid global diversification of stakeholders and membership base, certain changes have been uplifting to allow attendees to participate in the meeting from their remote locations. Thereby, a sudden surge for digital elements came into existence and changed the entire look and feel of hosting an event.
As we move forward with time, convergence of offline and online components have been gaining popularity across the world. Hybrid events have been providing its services to the masses long before COVID-19 hit the country, but the demand for it anticipated after the spread of the virus.
As cases seem to reduce in a few areas, organisers have slowly started to return back to the normal which made hybrid meetings gain more value. The mix of in-room attendees and virtual attendees, are what constitute a hybrid meeting. But why are these meetings becoming more and more important for businesses lately, is that what you are wondering? Well to cut you a slack, we have added the reason behind its popularity. Let’s have a look!
Why are Hybrid AGMs gaining popularity?
There are numerous reasons that have raised the demand for both Hybrid and virtual AGMs. Here’s a couple of overarching majors for its massive hype amidst the event industry:
The majority of the organisational sector have confirmed that technology has undeniably changed the way of operating business. As touched upon earlier, hybrid AGMs are not new to the industry; people partly hosted their annual general meetings online even before WHO announced the global pandemic. Hence, with the advancement of technology, people have been taking the advantage of Hybrid AGM more than they used to before in order to reach more stakeholders and improve their interaction level.
You all may have dreamed of making your meeting immersive and available to all who want to attend without any restrictions of travel and cost while also boosting their customer centric experience vividly. This all became possible after the world encountered new tech-savvy tools and not to forget mentioning Hybrid event platforms.
Factors to consider when hosting a Hybrid AGM
As the fiscal year gets closer, a larger number of organisations are all set to host their annual general meetings. As mentioned earlier, AGMs elevates a company’s overall performance and allows them a space to sketch out potential strategies in order to impress and persuade stakeholders. While planning on hosting a hybrid AGM there are certain credentials that you must consider to achieve maximum results during the crucial financial month.
Adapt to the new normal
Hybrid AGMs are now a commonplace amongst companies and shareholders of all sizes, and the importance of keeping up with this development should not be underestimated. Adapting to the new normal has been relatively easy for some but others may find it challenging to settle down their business in a hybrid environment as the situation is still gut-wrenching in and around the nation. Many organisers today have leveraged the new trends innovated by tech-enthusiasts in order to allow seamless communication and networking between attendees and organisers. So, now is the time to get past old traditional meetings and take advantage of new techniques for better planning and execution of events.
Leverage the right AGM Platform
While choosing your AGM platform for both physical and virtual, make sure you first do a thorough field research. This will help you get to know each platform better and enable you to select the right one for conducting your annual meetings.
As your in-person audiences will mostly be travelling in order to attend the meeting, ensure the venue location is at the center or near for attendees. Keep in mind to take all the precautions beforehand, so there is no overcrowding near the venue. Now once you have selected the physical venue, choosing a virtual venue is a must. Ensure whatever platform you opt for has a safe and secure environment for attendees to interact and network effortlessly. Go with a platform that also integrates advanced tacticalities such as audio/video/text chats for 1:1 or group discussions. And not to forget mentioning unique tools for better engagement like live polling, surveys, and Q&A sessions.
Inform your stakeholders
Once you have finalised your hybrid AGM venue, you must inform the members of the board and stakeholder about the meeting. Send the meeting details via using emails to your in-person participants. Having digital elements at your hybrid AGM can bring in more shareholders at your event as it eliminates geographical barriers and enables them to join from any part of the world.
As the platform you choose to perform the meeting securely, it must carry direct links attached with the username and password. Members who are willing to attend the meeting will be provided with the link through which they can easily join the meeting virtually at the right date and time.
Set High-Tech Security for Hybrid AGM
Making sure your hybrid meeting is secure is of the utmost importance and the technology used for hybrid events is an area that has received a lot of attention.
Security is crucial for a successful hybrid AGM and a meeting’s integrity depends on both certainty and security. In order to guarantee that these virtual users are who they claim to be, investors must have easy identity access to this private list.
Regardless of the medium, be that physical, hybrid or virtual, a platform that uses unique technology for a secure, encrypted network is our best bet. Moreover, a hybrid meeting must be quickly inspected and captured, having a comprehensive analytical record of the event can likely put votes in favour.
Quick and easy set-up
While setting up your hybrid AGM, organisers must think from the audience’s perspective. Meaning how they want their event to be and the answer is of course it should be easy to use and convenient. By doing so, attendees may easily join the meeting and concentrate on the discussions seamlessly.
Engage with wider audience
With a hybrid meeting you open up your options to engage your audience, not everyone is passionate enough to attend an annual meeting or even vote if it is not convenient for them; eliminating barriers such as travel, as mentioned before, can significantly increase the level of engagement and also scale up your attendance, both real and virtual.
If membership organisations and companies under the advantages and mitigate potential risk of a hybrid meeting, there are clear opportunities to utilise and benefit from holding an annual general meeting this way.
Look for better investor relations
Hosting a hybrid meeting can enhance investors’ relation strategies. Embrace your investors advice as this may help you improve your overall planning process and deliver useful support. You can consult the investor relations department in order to manage the relation with stakeholders residing at remote locations.
Strong internet connection
As hybrid AGMs amalgamate both physical and virtual participants it is important that you focus on your virtual attendees more as the chances of them getting distracted is pretty easy. Make sure your internet connectivity is strong and does not involve pixilated or unclear video.
To make sure your virtual attendees have a great time at your event, a strong and reliable web-based solution is a must! This will hold your participants and won’t let them fall apart.
Many times, while you host an annual meeting with Shareholders, CEO, Chairman, or any other senior executives the problem may arise like lack of interaction, poor internet connection, some of the event areas may stop working and whatever else can disrupt your entire meeting experience. Running a quick rehearsal meeting with the important members of your company can easily fix the issue and ideally make the meeting environment seamless.
Establish meeting norms
Hosting a hybrid meeting without people knowing what all things the meeting will be covering can confuse the audience. Hence, make sure your chairman opens up the meeting setting out all the meeting norms such as keeping the cell phone on mute, keep yourself mute to avoid any outside noise and so on.
To conclude, if investors and companies understand the advantages and mitigate potential risks of hybrid AGMs, there are clear opportunities to utilise and benefit from holding a hybrid annual meeting.
With proper commitment and use of high-tech tools companies can seamlessly improve their way of hosting an annual general meeting while also giving you a better possibility to host a successful, secure and a smooth hybrid AGM.