Digital AGMs, particularly in the form of hybrid meetings, have gained significant momentum on a global scale. Data from Lumi shows that in the first half of 2023, hybrid meetings increased by 9% compared to the entire year of 2022. An early sign showing hybrid meetings will surpass 2022 by some margin.
This transformation is part of a broader trend reshaping AGMs worldwide. Globally, virtual meetings accounted for 44% of all meetings during the first six months of the year, followed by hybrid meetings at 35% and in-room only meetings at 21%.
While digital-only AGMs remain the most popular format globally, Lumi data shows that 26% more hybrid meetings were facilitated in 2023 compared to 2021. We hope to see this trend towards hybrid continue.
A Global Perspective
Asia has been at the forefront of the hybrid revolution, witnessing a 5% increase in the total number of attendees at virtual and hybrid meetings in the first half of 2023. The average number of shareholders attending virtual and hybrid meetings in Asia skyrocketed to 436 per meeting, an 11% increase from the 2022 average. This can be attributed to an increased demand for online participation. In Europe, the average attendance per meeting reached 239 shareholders while in Australia, it stood at 144.
The digital impact on AGMs has also been shown to increase shareholder engagement. Asia received the most messages through Lumi’s platform (5,475) for the first 6 months of 2023. Closely followed by Europe and North America.
However, not all markets are following the same trajectory. In the United Kingdom, for instance, the post-COVID landscape has presented unique challenges as they haven’t embraced virtual AGMS at the same pace as other countries. Under current UK law, companies are mandated to in-person AGMS as the law requires meetings to be held in a ‘place’, and voting to be done by a ‘show-of-hands’.
This needs to change as hybrid AGMs are a good thing. There are benefits in terms of accessibility, engagement and flexibility. Adapting to the new landscape will be key to ensure that shareholders, regardless of their location or circumstances can actively participate in shaping the future of the companies they invest in.
Read more about how to host and effective and inclusive hybrid AGMs here.
Articles | AGM