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All About Virtual AGMs

As we entered the new gateway of digitalization, virtual events, meetings, trade shows, fairs, conferences, and virtual AGMs have paced up its game and became immensely popular. With the recent crisis of global pandemic that hit all nations, more and more companies are relying on virtual AGM solutions each passing day for exchanging their thoughts and communicating with shareholders.

Switching from conventional ways of Annual General Meetings needs a number of changes and most importantly the mindset of the people involved. In this article, we are going to share a complete overview of what are virtual annual general meetings, why do you need to adopt virtual AGM solutions, How to hold a successful Virtual AGM with shareholders, and what key benefits virtual AGMs offer to companies and shareholders?

Time to get started with a quick, clear, and easy guide for virtual AGMs!

What is a Virtual AGM?

Virtual Annual General Meetings

Annual General Meetings are one of the crucial events for a company, yet many people fail to attend it due to geographical constraints, resulting in missing out on important information that is being discussed in such meetings. Virtual AGMs are the best bet to rely on resolving the barrier of geographical limitations completely.

A meeting conducted between the members of an organization and shareholders to communicate is known as virtual annual general meetings (AGM).

With the evolution of technology and walking steps with the current digital ways, companies should adopt virtual methods to conduct such meetings. It should be accessible to the shareholders who can not be present at the Annual General meetings physically. Enabling with the recent technology of live streaming AGMs helps in facilitating audience participation and attendance from varied remote locations in a virtual space from the comfort of their own home. Virtual AGM services offer a safe and secure environment to webcast your annual general meetings live thus allowing shareholders and members of the company to connect in a virtual space.

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Virtual AGM Solutions & Services

Official Business Meetings

It offers a safe and secure environment to webcast your annual general meetings live, which allows shareholders and members of the company to connect in a virtual space.

Virtual AGM solutions allow you to have a Q&A session right after the virtual meeting for any doubt and queries along with enabled messaging. To attend a virtual annual general meeting all the shareholders and general members of the company need to register themselves before logging in. It allows them to vote for the number of shares they own. The registered shareholders hold the right to ask questions wide clear and open.

Some companies may invite guests to attend the Virtual AGMs, but they do not hold any right to vote and ask questions. The platform on which you stream virtual meetings keeps track and record of everything right from the members registered, viewed, questions asked, and poll organized for auditing purposes. It helps in keeping the track of poll results. Virtual AGMs have been trending globally. It makes communications easy and convenient by reaching a wider audience thus increasing annual general meetings attendance virtually.

How To Host Virtual AGM with Shareholders?

Virtual Events

Annual general meetings with shareholders are an essential part of any organization. With time virtual AGMs have become more popular with the advancements in technology as virtual events platform come into existence.

Virtual AGM solutions allow the organization to connect with shareholders residing in any corner of the world in a virtual space and gain feedback from them. To hold a successful and engaging virtual annual general meeting you need to keep certain points in mind. Let’s have a look:

1. Lookup for Advanced Technology

The technology used while conducting virtual AGM should be up to the mark that makes it easy to run without any errors. Leverage advanced speakers, a microphone, and a high-quality camera.

2. Select the Best Virtual AGM Platform

As you share valuable information over the internet during virtual AGMs, keeping the company’s valuable information and privacy intact and secure is the utmost priority. Selecting a reliable virtual event platform is a must because the entire event is going to rely on it. The platform not only allows you to reach your audiences and gather feedback but provides you security and is auditable. The platform should support voting polls, Q&A sessions, and so on.

Here is the list of features one must take into account while finalising the Virtual AGM platform:

Networking Capabilities

Look for a platform that offers an enormous range of networking features to have free-flowing conversations. AI-matchmaking, Virtual networking tables, Live audio/video 1:1 and group chats, business card exchange are some of the networking features that make networking smooth and seamless at virtual AGMs.

Engagement Features

Before finalising a virtual AGM platform make sure the platform has enough engagement features. It will help in holding your business stakeholders for the entire meeting and gain their valuable opinions. Select a virtual platform that allows you to host Q&A sessions, conduct live polls and surveys to gain stakeholder’s feedback and opinions.

Ability to Organise Breakout Sessions

Long sessions are monotonous and when they are hosted online the task becomes even more challenging. As participants are tuned in via screen attending long sessions and watching the screen for long hours may be tiring. Look for a virtual platform that enables you to organises breakout sessions amid the event. It enables participants to interact with each other and gives them time to comprehend the discussions done.

Data Privacy and Security

A virtual AGM platform must abide by the data privacy and security rules as the event involves an exchange of the company’s confidential information. Selecting a platform that ensures your data privacy and security is the right pick.

Document/ Presentation Sharing and Downloading

A virtual platform must facilitate attendees to view and download each document and PDFs shared during virtual AGM for future references. Additionally, the platform must enable individuals to share the screen with other participants to present presentations.

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3. A Strong Internet Connection

No one enjoys a buzzing unclear or pixilated video experience, therefore, a good video experience is must. A strong and reliable internet connection with a strong bandwidth is necessary to host a virtual AGM. A strong internet connection with increased bandwidth holds the audience without letting them fall out. As a result, it helps in increasing the audience interest and engagement with the live event.

4. Quick and Easy Set Up

The simple and effective setup makes it easy for you to host a virtual AGM. If the onboarding of shareholders and general members is easy, you will get time to concentrate on the content shared during the virtual event instead of technicalities.

5. Update your Shareholders via Emails

Send notifications to your stakeholders about your virtual AGM. Notify your interested stakeholders by sending them emails. Update them with the virtual meeting format for a seamless onboarding process. Send them a quick maneuver along with a video guide to easily navigate through the virtual AGM. If in case they are new to the format, it would be helpful. The email must consist of the relevant information such as Date, time, and link for virtual AGM.

6. Keep your AGM Meeting Private

AGM has a lot of exchange of information. The future goals and overall performance of the company are discussed during AGMs. It is a must to keep your virtual AGMs private to prevent leakage of information to competitors. To ensure your company’s privacy and restrict unauthorized third parties, keep the settings of your AGMs private. It will enable you to discuss future plans freely in a secure virtual space.

7. Practice Before the D-Day

Prior to the D-day, do as many rehearsals as possible. Do rehearsals in front of your friends and family or record yourself while doing rehearsals in dress code. Listen to the recordings, correct them where you went wrong. You are still left with the time to fix it before the live virtual AGM. Ensure all the technical pieces of equipment are up to the mark and the internet connection is stable before the virtual AGM goes Live.

8. Do a Dry Test Run

Before the actual date of your virtual AGM, do a dry test run to ensure everything is in place. It will help you to prevent any last-minute technical errors. If any technical glitches erupt, you are still left with time to fix them before the actual event.

9. Be Ready With a Plan B

Having a backup plan will help you in saving your virtual AGM if any technical hiccups occur at the last minute. Always be ready with a plan B in hand to ensure the smooth delivery of your virtual AGM. Make sure, your attendees are aware of your plan-B, even before the event starts to keep everyone on the same page.

10. Push Feedback Forms

Once the virtual AGM concludes, send push feedback to your participants. Ask them to share their honest feedback before leaving the meeting. It will help you in identifying which aspects of the event performed better and which need improvement. It will help in identifying impediments to work for future AGMs.

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What are the Key Advantages of Virtual AGMs?

Virtual Events and Meetings and Virtual AGMs

Apart from being the most feasible option to conduct virtual meetings in recent times of global crisis, virtual annual general meetings offer a number of advantages to the organizations.  It resolves various barriers right from geographical constraints, disability, isolation, and so on. Let’s have a look at some benefits of virtual AGMs that can help any organization to carry meetings with shareholders.

1. Higher Accessibility

Virtual AGMs are highly accessible as it allows attendees to join the meeting on any device, from anywhere. Certainly, It allows your events to be exclusive and more effective because all your shareholders can attend the meeting online, who fail to attend in-person events. A Livestream of virtual annual general meetings is accessible to every registered member of the meeting.

2. Increased Attendance

Organizations that have opted for virtual AGMs, have experienced an increase in attendance. It allows attendees to register and tune in remotely, thus increases the participation in the virtual event.

3. Cost-Efficient Measure

Another merit of Virtual AGMs is, it is a cost-effective measure when compared to in-person meetings. It reduces the travel cost, accommodation, and venue that the company has to look at if they opt for in-person AGMs. The virtual AGMs eliminate it completely. As a result, it makes your event a super hit without costing much.

4. Better Engagement

Virtual annual general meetings boost better engagements than in-person annual general meetings. Moreover, voting procedures for polls, Q&A sessions, and topics are concise and clear that helps in boosting engagement.

5. Keeps the Record

Virtual AGMs are trackable and keep the record of the entire virtual event right from the number of registered attendees, guests, polls, views, and so on. It allows instant recording of the data and concise tracking, therefore, you can see every detail in real time.

6. Mobile Friendly

Virtual AGM platforms are compatible with various mobile devices and are easily accessible through them.. Device and browser compatibility is important in order to offer a seamless experience to attendees.

Why Should You Adopt Virtual AGM Solutions?

Virtual Meeting Solutions

With the advancements in technology and the emergence of virtual events platforms, a large number of companies have switched to virtual AGMs from the conventional ways of organizing annual general meetings. Virtual annual general meetings are accessible on mobile devices too. In short, it can be accessed from any corner of the world on any device. Let’s have a look at some reasons why an organization need to adopt hybrid or virtual AGMs: 

1. Allows Every Shareholder to Put Up Their Point

Virtual AGMs allow everyone to voice out their options about a topic discussed in the meetings. Some shareholders voice out their opinions loud and clear in a debate with a chairman. Whereas for some shareholders debating about strategies with a chairman in front of all seems to be an eerie task. Interactive digital tools in virtual AGMs allow members to submit their questions while messaging thus overcoming the barrier of speaking in a debate loud and clear. In short, it offers the best medium/platform for 2 way communication.

2. Goodbye to Paperwork

Virtual AGMs allow you to say goodbye to paperwork. Right from the attendance of shareholders, planning agendas, and so on can be managed digitally. Apart from being convenient, the usage of the smartphone app looks more professional to shareholders as compared to paperworks.

3. Better Transparency and Accuracy

Transparency is necessary when it comes to corporate governance. Virtual AGMs give more accurate results when compared to in-person meetings as paper ballots are subsided by digital methods for voting. The voting process is far more transparent and accurate in virtual annual general meetings. The results are displayed to the attendees instantly.

4. Virtual Annual General Meetings are Inclusive

In conclusion, virtual annual general meetings allow every shareholder to attend them .In-person meetings limit some shareholders to attend it as they cannot afford to travel just to attend a meeting. Therefore, use virtual AGMs to host event virtually and bring all under a single roof, giving the opportunity to all members to present their opinions.

Wrapping It Up

In the current times, more and more companies are entering a gateway to digitalization and are switching to virtual annual general meetings from traditional ways. Virtual AGMs not only boost engagement and allow shareholders to voice out their opinions but allow companies to achieve their desired business goals as well. If you are still dwelling on old conventional ways of organizing your events with shareholders, pace up your game and enter the digital era with Virtual AGMs, Virtual Events and Conferences.

Pushpak Kacholia

A passionate writer and a keen observer of industry trends in technology, With over nine years of experience in managing technical projects and teams, Pushpak is currently the CTO and Business Head of Dreamcast & Webcontxt. With experience across both "products" and "services", he brings in the new innovations to each project. Specialities: Managing Engineering, Product Management, Product Strategy, Talent Acquisition, Innovation.

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