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How to make your AGM inclusive

The AGM is the most important shareholder meeting of the year and should therefore be inclusive to everyone. In 2023, shareholders are more engaged than ever and want their voices heard. Making sure everyone can access the meeting will be critical this season.  

Here are the top three ways to make your meeting as inclusive as possible. 

Why hybrid is the key to accessibility  

To make meetings inclusive, the priority needs to be hosting a meeting everyone can attend. 

Businesses should opt to host their meetings in a hybrid format. Many shareholders have been excluded from AGMs in the past by meeting location, the time of day they’re held or even accessibility issues. Hybrid meetings open up the AGM to a wider demographic.  

Hybrid is also good news for businesses. We’ve seen that when meetings are hybrid, twice as many shareholders attend and ask questions when compared with solely in-person events.  

Taking the time to understand your investors  

Understanding who your investors are and what matters to them is also key to creating an inclusive and successful meeting. The idea of AGMs only being attended by an older generation of shareholders, hosted in-room, is a dying myth. In reality, half of all shareholders in the UK and US now aged between 18 and 40, and 18% between 18 and 24 (Gen Z). As the face of shareholders changes, businesses need to move with them. 

Our research has shown that the most common reasons shareholders attend AGMs are to pose questions to the board about how the company is run (43%), followed by making their voice heard on issues they are passionate about (42%). Only 29% want to influence dividends.  

Hosting IR events ahead of the AGM is a great way to understand your investors further and deepen your relationship with them. This helps to build a more inclusive picture of your shareholder demographic and allows you to plan your AGM in line with what investors want to hear about or have their say on. 

The tech needed for inclusivity to thrive  

Inclusivity means implementing technology that creates accessibility and equality.  

If you’re opting for a hybrid meeting format, it’s important to make sure virtual participants have the same experience as in-room participants.  

Q&As are the cornerstone of any successful meeting, and innovative solutions like virtual microphones and built-in messaging tools enable virtual participants to ask questions within the natural flow of a meeting.  

However, simplicity is key. There is no point in hosting a hybrid or virtual meeting to broaden representation if it only speaks to the digitally literate. The process should be simple to attend, the Q&A session must be easily accessible, and all stakeholders need to feel comfortable with the technology being used. 

Find out more about Lumi’s hybrid solutions and how to build an inclusive meeting: https://www.lumiglobal.com/hybrid