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Virtual Annual General Meetings (AGMs): The New Normal

The disruption caused due to the recent global pandemic has shown a great impact on public gatherings. The change in dynamics and the restrictions imposed on traveling have resulted in cancellation/rescheduling of various events across the globe.

Virtual events have been in prevalence for many years. With the changing time, many organizations have stepped up their game and entered a gateway to virtual events recently. A huge incline towards online events has been witnessed in the past few months.

Virtual meetings have become immensely popular with each passing day. Many companies are adopting this online way to communicate with their shareholders residing in any corner of the world.

With the increasing popularity of virtual AGMs, many companies have opted to move annual general meetings in to virtual venues. However, a switch from traditional ways of conducting annual general meetings to virtual annual general meetings requires a change in a lot of things.

Till today shareholder meetings are carried out in a physical space and require physical attendance. But due to the turbulence caused due to COVID-19 pandemic, virtual annual shareholder meetings have become the best bet for companies to rely on to communicate with shareholders remotely. It not only helped up in saving time and revenue along with increased participation but also resulted in safeguarding the health of people.

Hosting virtual events and meetings on the best AGM platform has become the trend, helping organizations to leverage the benefits it serves. You must be thinking of what are annual general meetings? And why are they so important for any company?

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What are Virtual Annual General Meetings?

Annual general meetings are an important and mandatory event for any company that is carried out annually. It is a general meeting held between the director & the interested shareholders of the company. In AGM, the director of the company presents an annual report and discusses the strategies and performance of the company over the year.

Due to geographical barriers, many interested shareholders miss out on attending an in-person AGM resulting in missing out on important discussions. Walking with time, companies have decided to shift events in a virtual space and host virtual AGMs.

A meeting conducted between the interested shareholders and the director of the company in a virtual space, to communicate companies’ annual performance, strategies & discuss goals for the upcoming year is known as virtual Annual General Meetings.

A switch in company events due to COVID-19 resulted in overcoming the geographical constraints, thus resulting in increased participation. Virtual annual shareholder meetings on the best Virtual AGM platform allow shareholders to tune in from anywhere around the world from the comfort of their own space.

How Virtual Annual General Meetings are Beneficial for any Company?

Virtual AGMs hosted on a reliable virtual AGM platform prove to be a lot beneficial for companies. It allows shareholders to participate in meetings from their remote locations, without having to travel to attend a meeting and have meaningful discussions upon the overall performance of the year and future strategies. The best virtual AGM platform offers various advantages to the companies, have a look:

Ample Networking Opportunities

A comprehensive virtual AGM platform offers endless networking opportunities that allow shareholders to vote on key company operations. Additionally, they can interact in real-time via interactive tools such as live audio/video chats, 2-way video conferencing, or can even exchange business cards digitally in a safe and secure environment. With Virtual AGMs, participants can interact with anyone they wish to simply by sending a request from any corner of the globe.

Increased Engagement

Face-to-face interactions hold their own value and will never be out of the robust event management practices. Engagement is a lot easy when participants meet other participants in person. But some might not feel comfortable in sharing their thoughts. Whereas others may hesitate to put their opinions in a physical AGM. But, with virtual AGMs, it becomes relatively easy. Virtual annual general meetings equally engage participants with the help of advanced engagement features. They can share their thoughts by voting during Live polls, answering surveys, asking questions during Q & A sessions, and more.

Better Accessibility and Attendance

Virtual AGMs are far more accessible than physical AGMs that result in increased attendance and better engagements. During physical AGMs, some stakeholders miss out on the meeting due to geographical barriers and expenses involved in traveling. Whereas others might miss it due to busy schedules and time constraints. Virtual AGMs overcome all these barriers and allow stakeholders residing in any corner of the world to attend the meeting right at their convenience. Thus, resulting in better accessibility and increased attendance at the meeting.

Cost-Effective

When compared to in-person AGMs, virtual annual shareholder meetings are the best bet for any company as it is a cost-effective measure for conducting meetings. The cost involved in traveling, booking accommodation, venue, food & drinks, and so on gets reduced with virtual AGMs. All you need to have is a strong and stable internet connection and hire a comprehensive virtual AGM platform that offers a list of exuberant features.

Data Trackability

Virtual Annual General Meetings are highly trackable which is not completely possible with Physical AGMs. It helps in tracking the analytics of the meeting. Right from the registration, login, share, views, clicks, the number of questions asked, etc. everything is tracked seamlessly in a virtual format right from the start of the meeting till it ends. The tracking of metrics makes it easy to measure the performance and identify the impediments.

Compatible With Mobile Devices

Virtual Annual General meetings can be assessed from any location via any device be it a laptop, desktop or smartphone. Virtual AGMs that are compatible with mobile devices can be accessed even when a person does not have access to the laptop.

Ever since the outbreak of COVID-19, virtual meetings have been in the news. It is one of the most convenient ways to reach shareholders residing in any corner of the world. There is no doubt, virtual AGMs have become the new norm and made the flow of communication much easier.

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What is the difference between Virtual AGM and In-Person Physical Meetings?

The concept of conducting virtual AGM is the same as in-person annual shareholder meetings but in a virtual format. The only difference is, it is carried out in a virtual space on the virtual AGM platform. It allows attendees/shareholders to join the meeting and be part of important discussions from their remote locations. Virtual annual general meetings overcome the barrier of geographical constraints due to which interested shareholders miss out on in-person meetings.

The shareholders get the same privilege and transparency with virtual AGM that they usually get from physical meetings. The annual report, discussion on overall performance & strategies of the company, planning on goals for the upcoming year, getting valuable feedback, etc. all remain the same. But carried out in a virtual format on a virtual event platform via AGM Video Conferencing.

Increased accessibility, attendance, and participation in a cost-effective way are other merits of virtual AGMs.

Is Hosting Virtual Annual General Meetings Safe?

As technology advances, robust technology measures are used for hosting virtual meetings on a virtual event platform. It offers high-level security along with a strong and secure network connection to connect with shareholders globally. The strict authentication and access control prevent the unauthorized third parties from gaining access to sensitive data.

Virtual AGM platforms are completely safe and secure, thus keeping your company’s privacy intact. The best platforms keep the confidential information of the company and attendees safe and secure.

An advanced Virtual AGM Platform takes several data security and privacy measures into account. It will help in keeping confidential company information safe and secure. Have a look at some of the most common data security features one must look for before finalising a virtual AGM platform:

HTTPS URL

While selecting a virtual AGM platform for your upcoming virtual AGM, go with a platform that offers SSN secure connection along with TLS 1.2 protocol enabled. It makes your virtual AGM completely safe and secure.

Password-Protected Login

A virtual AGM platform must have a password-protected login option. It makes sure that only the concerned participant access the event on a virtual AGM platform by logging in with a password provided for the meeting. However, it results in restricting unauthorized third parties to enter the meeting.

2-Factor Authentication Via OTP

To maintain data privacy, advanced virtual AGM platforms offer a 2-factor authentication via OTP. The OTP to enter the event is sent on an e-mail id and phone number of the designated attendees. It ensures only the verified participant is entering a virtual AGM and not someone else.

Enhanced Security via Captcha

To prevent the risk of data breaching, a comprehensive virtual AGM platform offers a highly advanced security feature. It makes sure only the concerned person is part of the virtual AGMs and not bots.

Unique URL

When you are planning to organise an AGM , having a unique URL for your virtual AGM will help. A platform that enables you to create a unique URL for your company’s AGM is the one you must go with. It ensures that the participants who have a URL to attend the virtual AGM can only be part of the meeting. Thus, resulting in keeping virtual AGMs safe and secure.

Vulnerability Assessment & Penetration Testing

A platform that has a security service to identify gaps between network, server, and infrastructure helps in keeping data secure throughout the virtual AGMs.

Apart from the data security and privacy features mentioned above, a comprehensive virtual AGM platform offers many other data security features. And allows you to host your company AGM in a safe and secure digital environment.

How Virtual Annual Shareholder Meetings Save Revenue?

The amount spent on organizing in-person meetings dips down considerably with virtual meetings. While hosting a virtual AGM, you do not need to book a venue, incur travel & accommodation costs, purchase refreshments, or do paperwork. Thus resulting in saving a lot of revenues and achieving better results.

Why should Companies Switch to Virtual Annual General Meetings?

In times like today, where the restriction has been imposed on travel virtual meetings are the safest alternative. It allows business to keep running seamlessly without any effect from the external environment. 

Virtual events have become the new normal and are a way to go in the coming years. Companies that want to maintain operations and achieve goals effectively, should switch from traditional ways of meetings to virtual AGMs.

Never thought about hosting a virtual AGM? Now is the time to move your AGM to a safe and secure virtual venue.

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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