The pandemic compelled the businesses to rethink and reorganize the entire structure, to interact with clients, deliver services, and conduct in-house meetings and gatherings. However, advanced technology emerged as the beacon of light, and the world was introduced to the concept of virtual events.
In no time, virtual meetings became an integral part of all the organizations across the world. In this guide, we will take you through all the aspects of virtual annual general meetings that hold a great significance in the corporate world.
What is a Virtual AGM?
Virtual Annual General Meetings or AGMs are the yearly meetings conducted in any organization, be it private or public. All the employees, stakeholders, investors, and everyone involved attends the annual general meeting.
The objective behind conducting these meetings is to discuss, analyze and plan out the company’s performance and strategies; for the passing and the upcoming year.
Generally, AGMs are in-person meetings, but businesses have started hosting them over Virtual AGM Platforms for the past two years. According to TrustRadius, there was a 500% increase in buyer activity of web and video conferencing services since the pandemi began. And, this shows us the growing prevalence of holding vital virtual meetings.
Virtual AGMs are similar to their in-person counterparts; the only difference lies in the medium of hosting.
What is the Purpose of Organizing Virtual AGMs?
The main agenda behind hosting a virtual AGM is to discuss and interact with all the employees, stakeholders, and the leadership on a single platform.
Other than that, the key objectives for conducting the Annual General Meetings are:
- Analyzing the company’s performance.
- Reviewing the financial statements of the organization.
- Discussing the director’s analytics and reports.
- Having discussions about the employees’ performance and organizational structure.
- Replacing the existing board of directors with the new ones.
How to Host a Successful Virtual AGM?
Now that you know the meaning of virtual AGMs, the next question that must have popped up in your mind is how to run a virtual AGM. Don’t worry! We have got you covered. Explore the best tips to ensure the success of your online AGM.
8 Tips to Help You Organize an Efficient Virtual Annual General Meeting for Your Company:
Schedule Your Virtual AGM
The first step towards conducting a successful virtual annual general meeting is to schedule it. However, it gets challenging if your organization is spread across multiple time zones. Due to the time difference in different time zones, it gets challenging for the organization to host a meeting that meets the convenience of all the overseas employees. Make it easier for you by referring to some world clock and such apps that will quickly help you understand the difference between them.
Other than that, when you schedule the meeting, pick the date that won’t affect the employees’ personal schedules. Yes, it is a bit challenging, but you can easily manage everything with innovative technology.
Create a List of Attendees
If you are aware of AGMs and the concept of AGMs, we assume you are also mindful that the government has its guidelines for conducting these meetings. However, it is still necessary to have all the members present. Therefore, we suggest that you create a list of all the attendees who will attend the meeting. Then, the host can read out the names to confirm their presence at the conference.
Pick the Right Tools
While you are looking for a virtual meeting platform, make sure to consider a few crucial factors that will help you glide effortlessly through the process. Start with considering the level of security provided by the virtual meeting platform, the objective of your session, its format, your budget, and other factors. In addition, the name you will pick for your forum will directly affect the success of your meeting; hence, take your time and analyze a few options before landing on a name.
Though an in-house meeting doesn’t require you to send out personal invitations, corporate etiquette is required. You should send meeting invitations to all those expecting to show up during the meeting. Keep the tone of the invites formal, and don’t forget to include the following points:
- The email’s subject line should mention the title of your AGM with the date and time.
- Introduction to your AGM, including a brief introduction to the previous editions.
- Instruction to the attendees and what they are expected to do.
- Agenda & expected duration of the meeting.
- Agenda of the meeting, so people know what to expect and the duration of the itinerary of the AGM.
- Time and date of the meeting, according to various time zones.
- Format of the meeting.
- Contact details of the organizers, the HR, and the IT department representatives.
- Additional resources.
Outline the Important Aspects of Your Meeting
Outlining your event will enable you to bind your virtual meeting together. It gives the organizers a direction to move towards and ensures that the meeting is productive. While you plan the schedule of your meeting, ensure you include the following points:
- The points you will discuss during the meeting, and the time each speaker will present their issues.
- Members who will be there in the meeting.
- Duties allocated to different members.
- Role and responsibilities of each person.
- Resources you will need to present in the meeting.
Having some guidelines for any event or meeting gives the attendees clarity of what they are expected to do and expect from the meeting. These guidelines will give your session a structure and avoid chaos.
Keep your mic mute unless asked to unmute, raise a query and ask when allowed, a short introduction of the speaker before asking and saying something, and other such things are a few points that you can include in your guidelines.
Keep the Attendees Engaged
While it is easier for the organizers to keep the attendees engaged, it gets challenging when we move online. Assure audience engagement by allowing everyone to speak. You can conduct several games or activities to ensure maximum audience participation, and the meeting doesn’t turn out to be boring. Though the objective behind hosting an AGM is formal, a break or few won’t hurt someone. Introduce ice-breaking sessions; it will help the attendees to interact with their peers and stay engaged. It won’t only make the entire process a smooth sail but also promote a positive atmosphere during the meeting and build camaraderie.
Take a Follow-Up
Once the meeting is over, make sure you follow up with the attendees. While it might get challenging and nearly impossible for one person to do this, you can make it easier by distributing them team-wise. Ask the respective team managers to ask their team members about their takeaways from the meeting. Along with it, don’t forget to thank everyone present at the meeting. Take it a step further by sending out feedback forms to the attendees to hear how the meeting went.
What are the Benefits of Hosting an Online AGM?
From being easy on the pocket to ensuring utmost security of the data, virtual meetings and platforms come with many such advantages. Also, according to a report by Marklectic, 78% of businesses that use an event application say it contributes to a positive event ROI.
Some of those benefits of virtual AGMs are discussed below. Have a look.
Virtual Meetings are Less Expensive
Hosting the web version of the annual general meetings is economical compared to their in-person counterparts. A yearly in-person meeting is a costly affair and comes with an ‘n’ number of expenses. An annual physical meeting leaves the organizers with a hole in their pocket, from booking a venue to the caterers and ensuring accommodation for the attendees, speakers, and guests. On the other hand, all you need is an efficient platform to conduct AGMs over the internet.
Online AGMs Increase Attendance
The number of organizations hosting virtual AGMs has significantly increased in a few parts of the world. It is because it doesn’t require people to travel and be its part from the comfort of their homes. Virtual AGMs come with several advantages and conveniences, and it is why they ensure more attendance rates than in-person AGMs.
They Boost Engagement Between Employees and Stakeholders
Virtual AGM Platforms come with various immersive and networking tools which result in engagement between the shareholders and the attendees. Several platforms, like Dreamcast, come with compelling features that add to the interaction among the employees and the shareholders.
Virtual AGMs are Secure
One of the most common concerns among virtual meeting organizers is about the security of their event, and rightly so. However, with an efficient event solution, one can host virtual meetings as secure as in-person meetings, if not more. Platforms like Dreamcast come with several features such as multi-factor authentication, IP tracking, and other advanced security tools that let the organizations host meetings without having to worry about security breaches and other potential threats.
Expert Tips to Make Your Virtual AGM Stand Apart
To help you give your ideas the best possible execution, here we have discussed some of the expert tips along with your virtual AGM checklist.
Ensure Internet Stability
To ensure smooth execution of your virtual AGM, have stable internet connectivity. Poor internet connectivity will make sure your AGM is streaming seamlessly and all the attendees have a good experience.
To ensure maximum and active participation of the attendees, send regular reminding emails. So, even if any person forgets about the meeting, these reminders will help them. Also, the approaching AGM will compel all the team members to do their homework and ‘’gear up for the meeting.
Take a Technical Run-Through
Host a technical run-through a few times before the virtual meeting. It will help you go through the technicalities of the platform and make required technical adjustments in due time. On the d-day, get on the platform a few minutes early and check if it is functioning fine or not.
Have a Plan B, Always
To ensure the execution of your meeting doesn’t get affected during glitches, keep a plan B ready, always. Having the tech team on board will help you troubleshoot any technical issue occurring during the procedures.
Keep a Check On the Technicalities
While the meeting is going on, ensure that the technicalities are in-check. Ensure all the microphones are on mute, except the speaker; people have turned on their cameras, the internet is working fine, and all other technicalities. The organizers tend to overlook such details, but these are the aspects that ensure the successful execution of your plans.
Prepare a Script
While you plan the meeting, ensure that you prepare a script. Also, don’t forget to share it with everyone so that even if one speaker gets disconnected, the other one can take over and continue with the meeting.
Have a Team of Experts Aboard
The annual general meeting of an organization is of great significance, and its planning and execution demands nothing but the best. Hence, get the best minds of your organization for conducting Virtual AGM in 2022; it will have its impact on the meeting.
Dos and Don’ts of a virtual AGM: Meeting Etiquette Guidelines
This section discusses the virtual AGM guidelines that you should follow to make sure the entire process is smooth and chaos-free.
- Show up early.
- While you spot other members in the room, initiate a conversation with them; introduce yourself.
- Speak clearly.
- Avoid Background Noise.
- Be polite and friendly.
- Don’t shout.
- Wait for your turn, don’t create chaos.
- Don’t interrupt others.
- Don’t turn off cameras.
- Avoid making distracting moves.
We hope you found this guide impactful; to host an unforgettable virtual meeting experience, join hands with us today. Book a demo now.