How to bring your online annual meetings into 2017
18 January 2017
By Tiffany Regaudie
It’s 2017 and you’re planning your next annual general meeting. This means your meeting needs to happen online and in person.
Investors expect companies to offer great online experiences, which can include a great website experience, an interactive online annual report, and the option to attend events virtually. As webcast and video integration becomes more sophisticated, it’s never been easier to create an immersive online experience for people who want to attend your meeting(s) from afar. According to ON24’s Webinar Benchmarks Report, webcast video integration increased from 9 percent to 16.5 percent between 2013 and 2014, and continues to experience an upward trajectory.
Here are some ways you can make sure your annual general meeting is staying ahead of trends.
Choose your interactive tools.
When: Before you finalize the date of your meeting.
An engaged audience is an audience who remains logged on. Q&As are the most popular webcast interactivity tool, with 82 percent of ON24 survey respondents choosing this tool to engage with their attendees. Social media sits in second place at 35 percent; consider creating an event hashtag that people can follow and ask questions via Twitter.
Reach out to your service provider
When: Upon finalizing your meeting date
Your service provider will connect with your onsite A/V team to determine technical and logistical requirements for your event. Send in your design and branding guidelines, and your service provider will build a modern, custom webcast console that represents your brand the best.
Promote your online event, online.
When: 1 to 15 days out
Your service provider will post the event and registration link on your website well in advance of the live event, but you may want to consider email and social media promotion as well. According to ON24, 31 percent of people surveyed say they promote their webcast events 1-7 days in advance. Shorter promotional periods make sense for social media, where all news needs to be current, but longer promo cycles may allow for multiple email touch points to encourage registration.
The day of your event
On the day of your annual meeting — you likely won’t need to do much. Your dedicated onsite digital events coordinator (DEC) will work directly with the venue’s A/V team to ensure flawless execution of your event. With your DEC onsite, they can also push slides on the webcast by mirroring slide movement in the room.
Also, depending on your company bylaws, you may choose to take advantage of online voting. Your webcast provider will be able to advise on embedding a link to your proxy voting site on the webcast console within a Downloadable Resources widget.
For polling, you may control and monitor polling questions from a user-friendly presentation manager platform, for which your webcast provider may provide training.
Check webcast analytics.
When: One week following your event
There are a few metrics beyond event registration that can tell you about the success of your event. You can measure audience engagement during your event by checking the percentage of attendees who downloaded content, submitted questions, and answered polls.
You will also want to check on-demand viewing rates, which have been on the rise. Mobile access has fueled this trend; in 2014, 43 percent of people who registered for an online event viewed it on-demand instead of live. This is why it’s important to wait about a week before you check your analytics, so you can get a complete sense of post-event success.