The way we communicate has been becoming increasingly focused on digital, from social media, to SMS to emails and beyond. As the millennial generation becomes the largest demographic in the active workforce, we can only expect a higher adoption of, and reliance on digital methods.This trend is significant, and impacts on how membership organizations and companies communicate with their member base or shareholders.
In this second issue of our blog series, we look at how AGM are changing in response to this increasing digitalization.
When discussing AGM from the 2017 season, Computershare found that: “Across the board the biggest change this year is the proliferation of virtual-only or hybrid AGM.” (Computershare, 2017).
Hybrid AGM have become more and more popular over the last decade, with smaller tech firms all the way up to FTSE 100 companies, as well as charities are getting involved. But how do you know if your company is ready for a hybrid AGM?
Factors to Consider When Thinking about a Hybrid AGM
In Equiniti's latest review on AGM trends, one of the major themes for the previous few years has been ‘a continued interest in exploring hybrid AGM’ (Equiniti, 2017).
Adapt or Get Left Behind
As mentioned above, hybrid AGM are now commonplace amongst companies and membership organizations of all sizes, and the importance of staying with this development should not be overlooked. If you fail to adapt, you will be left behind, hosting outdated AGM and causing upset amongst your attendees and disappointment from those unable to participate remotely. As we discussed in our ebook (download your free copy here), member engagement continues to be a key focus of member based organizations.
Age Range of Your Audience
As the global workforce changes, of course so do the methods and technologies along with it. With the growing number of millennials making up the majority of our workforces, it is time to embrace change and make AGM engaging for all audiences. This is a large reason why hybrid AGM have become more prevalent in recent years.
Inclusivity & Alienation
Similar to the above, hosting a hybrid AGM allows for everyone to get involved in your meeting, removing the barriers of travel and cost to the individual, allowing for the silent majority to be heard.
On the flip side of this, having a fully virtual AGM could alienate older generations and reduce their attendance, so to appeal to both demographics, hybrid AGM allow for everyone to be involved and comfortable.
Hosting a hybrid AGM allows for a much more transparent AGM. For instance, your shareholders or members can see the voting outcome in real time, but this also means that your chair has a good idea of the results as they come in, allowing them to prepare their comments.
On a similar note, questions can be addressed and anyone may participate, either anonymously or by name. Creating this transparency can be both an advantage and a risk, but handled correctly it makes your audience much more trusting and engaged.
Reluctance to Embrace Change
As with any updates of technology there will always be a certain level of resistance. However with the industry changing, hybrids and even virtual AGM will become more and more common in coming years; therefore a more organic rather than forced approach would be recommended. Change is your choice.
Engage a Wider Audience
With an hybrid AGM you open up your options to engage your audience, not everyone is passionate enough to attend an AGM or even vote if it’s not convenient for them; removing barriers such as travel, as alluded to before, increases your engagement and can improve your attendance, both real and virtual.
To conclude, if membership organizations and companies understand the advantages and mitigate potential risks of a hybrid AGM, there are clear opportunities to utilize and benefit from holding an AGM this way (ICSA, 2017).
If you don’t have time to read the whole blog or simply want to find out more about the Frequently Asked Questions regarding hybrid AGM then download our free resource here: