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What is a virtual shareholder meeting?

Since the pandemic, many organizations have had to adapt and find a way to deliver their AGM completely virtually, allowing their shareholders to participate and vote online. There can be a misconception that digitalizing your meeting restricts options and can be harmful for engagement and participation.

What is a virtual AGM like?

At a virtual AGM, your shareholders will still have the ability to ask questions, send messages, and vote on important topics at your meeting, just like in traditional in-person AGMs. Digitalizing your meeting does not restrict the ability of these actions for shareholders, and in some cases can enhance it.

Who has hosted a virtual AGM?

Since Lumi began operation in 1995, we have worked with thousands of organizations around the globe, helping leading businesses and associations innovate and digitize their AGM. In 2020, digitization at the AGM accelerated, as organizations looked to safeguard the continuity of their operation.

Lumi delivered Marks and Spencer Group PLC’s first fully virtual AGM back in 2020, when the first few companies were testing out fully online annual meetings during lockdown. The result of this was a significant increase in engagement, with over 1,500 individuals attending to vote, submit questions or view the broadcast, whilst there were only 561 attending in the previous year. The participation from shareholders increased in terms of questions put to the board, with 86 in 2020 compared to 58 in 2019. This demonstrates that when a virtual meeting is run well, there is a clear opportunity to significantly increase shareholder engagement.

Since 2020, virtual meetings have become much more common, as organizations have come to realise the benefits a virtual AGM can have for shareholder engagement, diversity and inclusion, net zero planning and business continuity,

What are the benefits of a virtual AGM?

Attendance and engagement come hand-in-hand. Hosting a virtual AGM, or providing the option to join online, shows consideration regarding the diversity of shareholder within the meeting, whether it be geographical location or technical ability.

As well as increased engagement being a benefit, delivering a virtual AGM can be helpful when there is a tight budget, with little spending on conference rooms, catering and travel. Additionally, costs will be cut where there won’t be a need for paper materials, including ID badges, booklets, and merchandise. Read more on virtual AGM costs here. These cuts are also beneficial for reducing your organization’s carbon footprint, which is a growing concern for shareholders.

A virtual AGM does not mean lack of security at the meeting. With Lumi’s patented technology and rigorous security testing, we can assure you that your meeting is protected from any possible threats and security will not be compromised at your digital AGM. For more information on how we keep your meeting secure, click here.

At Lumi we champion simplicity. Accessibility is of paramount importance and our platform is designed to be intuitive for all shareholders, irrespective of digital literacy. With Lumi’s easy-to-use platform, and expert help from the technical team on the day of the meeting, participants shouldn’t struggle to take part and can engage when it matters most.

There are plenty of benefits to hosting your AGM virtually. If your organization is looking to go virtual, please get in contact with the Lumi team.