Virtual AGM: Ideas and best practices

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It is no surprise that every event is happening online. Since our dependence on technology is increasing daily. And last year, the outbreak of a pandemic, followed by lockdown, acted as a catalyst in this process. People were forced to adapt quickly, with changing times. So, every event had to be organised virtually, without gathering people or in-person events.

Along with Work From Home, people attended virtual meetings, virtual conferences, virtual trade shows and virtual awards. But the most significant event for corporates is AGMs (Annual General Meetings). So these AGMs have to be organised virtually. But before we jump into what things should be considered while hosting an AGM. Let’s understand what virtual AGM is?

Concept of Virtual AGM

A virtual AGM is a digital version of a physical meeting. In this, the members are connected virtually through an online network. And they conduct activities like voting and discussion using the features available at the platform that is being used. It is a 3-D and interactive environment. And its objective is to recreate the physical experience in a digital medium.

Now that we know the concept of virtual AGM. Let’s look at some ideas and practices for hosting virtual AGM.

Ideas and best practices for conducting virtual AGM

  1. Preparing a Road map

The first step to host an event is planning. It doesn’t matter whether it is a physical or digital, formal or informal and corporate or private event. Now you must be questioning what do you need to consider while planning? The answer is simple, begin with asking questions with yourself. These questions could be the goal behind the event. Or what do you want to achieve with the event? And so on.

Here, in the case of virtual AGM, you need to decide the following things. These are the date, time and duration of the meeting. Also, you need to prepare the meeting schedule, which means the sequence of various activities in the event.  

In AGMs, several activities happen like presentation, voting and discussion etc. So, you need to plan your activities accordingly.

2. Settling on Budget

After deciding on the meeting duration, schedule and requirements, you need to select the budget for hosting the meeting. Don’t forget the importance of choosing the appropriate budget. Since the whole event depends upon the budget, you need to allocate the budget carefully. Also, count things like the number of participants, the requirements for the event and so on. 

One of the advantages of hosting a virtual event is cost-efficiency. You save a lot of money since you don’t need to spend on the venue, food, travelling and accommodation. But don’t forget to buy a good quality camera and microphone for a smooth experience.

3. Platform and technology

In a virtual event, the audience’s experience is the most crucial factor. And this experience depends heavily on the performance of a virtual event platform or software. So you need to make sure that you are choosing the right platform. This platform should not be buggy and should provide a seamless experience to the audience. But you must be wondering how to decide which platform is apt for you? 

While selecting the platform, you should compare your needs with the features offered by the platform. It should provide enough features to fulfil your event’s needs. 

A virtual event platform should consist of features like Live Q&A, Polls, surveys and chats for 1:1 or group discussions. Also focus on the interface of the platform. This interface has to be easy for navigation yet immersive for a rich experience.

Think in this way that many people are attending a lot of virtual events since the pandemic. And many of them are feeling tired. So your platform must be unique, interactive and easy to use. Otherwise people will be disinterested in the meeting. 

4. Security of the event

An AGMs is only for the most prominent and senior member of the organisation. These are the board of directors, shareholders/stakeholders and so on. Apart from the information, you don’t won’t your participant’s data getting compromised or accessed by a stranger. Hence, review the security of the virtual event platform. How secure is the virtual event platform? What are the security features available? And if something goes wrong, what will happen to the data? And so on. 

5. Sending invitations

After making the necessary arrangements, you need to send an invitation to the participants of the event. For this, you need to prepare a list of potential members. These members will be the board of directors, shareholders/stakeholders and other members of the organisation. Now you need to invite them. And don’t forget to provide them with important information like date, timing, a span of meeting and a link to your virtual meeting.

6. Reviewing the rules of conduct

Don’t forget to review the rules of the conduct. Just like in a physical meeting, similar instructions will apply in the virtual meeting also. So you need to share the set of rules with the participants of the meeting. Use features like uploading documents, digital briefcase and more to sharing virtually. This set of rules must contain information like date, timing, sequence of meeting and so on. 

These rules should be easy to understand and fair, so that shareholders don’t face any difficulty. 

7. Provide tutorial of platform

You need to provide a tutorial of the virtual event platform to the participants. You cannot assume that the participant is used to a virtual meeting or have used the same platform/software in the past. So you need to provide a detailed tutorial. It is highly recommended to present a tutorial in the form of a video. Because a video tutorial is more effective than a set of written instructions.

8. Rehearsal

Before hosting the meeting, we would like to suggest you rehearse the event. Since this might be your first virtual event, rehearsing the event is highly recommended. Also, technology is involved here, there are high chances of technical issues. And remember what Murphy’s law says, ‘Anything that can go wrong will go wrong’. So, don’t take unnecessary risks. 

Also, this will help you in identifying the potential technical issues in advance. So, you can try to eliminate them ASAP. 

We hope this article will prove helpful for you. Share your thoughts on virtual AGMs or other virtual events. 

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