Planning an Annual General Meeting (AGM) is an amazingly complicated and detailed task. Whilst you may feel completely organised with your T’s crossed and I’s dotted, on the day all of your hard work could easily come undone by anything from a faulty microphone to a wobbly chair. An AGM with an experienced event services provider is the only way to make sure everything is covered and cared for, especially when the unexpected happens. There are things that only an event services provider experienced in organising AGMs knows to anticipate before you even know you need them.
Here are 9 things to consider when holding your AGM that you likely didn’t know you needed:
Are your seats comfortable?
You may be sitting for hours. The last thing you want is for your shareholders and board members to think back to the AGM with memorable physical discomfort. If your AGM is being webcast, you don’t want it filming your board members continuously wriggling in their seats trying to get comfortable. Plus, an uncomfortable audience is a distracted one. It may seem a relatively simple task, but selecting the right seating for both your board members and audience can be one of the most important decisions you make. For a recent NRMA AGM, which chair to choose divided our event production team. After much consideration in the end we opted for a white arm chair that could swivel - it was functional, comfortable and not out of place on a stage.
How will the audience be seated?
How will the board of directors table look?
You need an experienced camera, sound team and event team to cover all the bases.
How will you communicate with your shareholders?
Webcast your company AGM so everyone has the chance to attend
Cater to all your audience’s needs – access and appetite
Remember the little things.
Once you have selected the perfect chair, something not too comfortable nor too hard, you have to consider how they’ll be positioned. Do you have theatre style seating with your shareholders facing the stage or do you have something different in mind. The choice of seating style can dramatically change the overall vibe and tone of the AGM. Did you know there are 10 seating arrangements for events for you to choose from?
Depending on your AGM’s goals and budget, there are a variety of set design options available from custom designed sets to standard branded tables. A great way to reduce costs is to partner with an event services company who already have an AGM table built with inbuilt speakers and microphones which can be rebranded to your company’s aesthetics. But maybe you don’t want a board table. Some AGM’s have their members seated on a couch. Whichever option you go for you’ll need to consider many things such as how they’ll store their presentation notes, how will the audience hear them, is there a place to put their water glass if they’re thirsty?
Every year the AGM has to evolve at the same pace as your company advances. With these advances comes new challenges for the event staging partner. From the sound in the venue, to the screens and projectors used in the presentation, to the shareholders watching and listening at home - each year the AGM adapts and evolves, and so does the team with it. An experienced event services partner has been keeping up-to-date with all of the latest advances in audio visual production and event technology to produce a new and improved AGM every year.
Advances in event technology can make your AGM a dynamic experience and give transparency to your shareholders. It is important that lines of communication be open and clear. The whole point of the AGM is to give all the shareholders the best impression of your company and to show that you have an interest in them and them in you.
Through mobile phones your company can now have a direct link to your shareholders. An event app can provide instant communication with your shareholders and a single location for you to conveniently upload all the relevant information to. With updates given about the AGM if something unexpected occurs and with live content delivered on the day, it can be the best tool at your disposal to deliver an amazing AGM. We have listed 10 ways event apps are enhancing the AGM experience for both the organiser and the shareholders.
A great event services partner makes sure to cater to all the needs for those present on the day but also for those who cannot attend in person. Often a company’s shareholders will be widely dispersed around the country and world so one of the hardest elements of organising an AGM is determining how many attendees you’ll need to allow for. A great way to help manage this is webcasting the AGM. This means those shareholders who cannot attend physically can watch the AGM from the comfort of their home, office desk or on the go. Similarly, webcasting the AGM allows the event to live long beyond its end. If you are considering webcasting your AGM ensure your event services provider is experienced in webcasting live events as there is a lot of elements involved from the recording and camera angles to ensuring the webcast skin is branded and the recording is streamed successfully online.
It would be incredibly single minded to think of your audience only in terms of how it would be for you to attend. Every different person has very different needs and some have more requirements than others. When organising an AGM your event services partner will need to provide adequate solutions for all shareholders – from the hearing and sight impaired, to those needing wheelchair access. A great event staging partner will have closed captions for both those in attendance and those at home, as well as thorough recordings of the speeches from the day.
And don't forget catering! Most AGM's do a buffet style lunch and make sure to stick to the schedule for breaks. It’s an age old saying but no important decisions should be made on an empty stomach.
Not everyone is comfortable in front of a microphone. Actually you could say that almost everyone is terrified of public speaking. Almost 75% of the population suffer Glossophobia, or more specifically, a paralysing anxiety from public speaking. Even though your board of directors may be experienced in their roles, public speaking is a skill and needs to be rehearsed. With so many elements during an AGM such as running through all the formalities, speaker presentations, Q&A...your board of directors need to know what’s going on and when. Rehearsing your AGM also allows your event services partner to refine the production such as camera angles, audio adjustments for different speakers, presentation management and the list goes on.
Some things can only be learned from experience. Whether it is knowing to have a registration desk situated in a visible spot so everyone can register on entry, to having a more intuitive seating arrangement to suit your AGM style. Even knowing to pre-open bottles of sparkling water so it won’t cause issues on the stage for the speakers or noticing if one of their microphones has come loose or is not working correctly – it’s the care and attention to detail by your event services partner that differentiates a good one from a great one.
The Biggest Tip: Partner with an event company that specialises in delivering company AGMs
With all these considerations it is no wonder most companies choose to do AGM’s with an event services partner. It is part of the event services providers' experience and range of AV and event production solutions to give you the very best event experience. From lead up, during and after the event, your event services partner is the expert you need to have a seamless, engaging and informative company Annual General Meeting.
Staging Connections has been delivering AGMs since 1986 and is one of the most trusted event services partner with a track record of delivering AGM’s at the highest standard with complete client satisfaction.
Start planning your company AGM today! Get in touch with us by sending an online enquiry or calling 1800 209 099.