COVID-beating Hybrid AGMS are the future, and a lifeline for embattled directors.
COVID-19 just sucker-punched your AGM.
Social distancing has cancelled AGM season, shuttering perhaps the one event in your organisation’s calendar which brings your stakeholders together.
The pandemic has changed our emotional coding. A handshake. A kiss on the cheek. Gathering with colleagues. These actions come with a rational yet unshakable fear for our personal safety; a fear which will linger long after lockdown.
This is more than a social woe, though. For orgs around the world, rules in their constitution handcuff their AGM to a location or timeframe; restrictions which grate against social distancing regulations.
Your AGM has hit the canvas, then. Now, we’ll show you how to come back fighting.
A Hybrid AGM combines the physical meeting of your quorum with remote attendance from your stakeholders. Here are our tips to get you started:
Your AGM is a platform to share successes from the year gone and lay out plans for the road ahead. This physical gathering is a great leveller for your stakeholders. With a remote audience, engagement works a little differently. Remote attendees may feel a sense of separation given their distance from proceedings, so special care should be taken to ensure they feel engaged.
One way to prevent your remote stakeholders feeling like second-class attendees is to provide a structured plan of activities for their participation. Points in this stable to consider:
One. Has your content been optimised for remote viewing?
Two. Do your stakeholders have opportunity to interact with these materials?
The use of this new format will bump audience numbers on novelty factor, but consideration of the points above will improve engagement, too.
Question your Q&A
Your Q&A session should be an easy win with your audience. We would suggest the methods below:
One. A call for questions pre-AGM
Two. A live Q&A session held during the AGM
Consider the technical limitations of your attendees. Ensuring they can be seen and heard without frustration will go a long way to keeping them engaged.
Transparency with your audience is also key. A stable stream requires careful management and control, but what if attendees feel that control is being used to silence or influence them? This is where a considered programme, robust online platform and careful stream monitoring is crucial.
Secure Your Vote
A Hybrid AGM maintains democracy in its voting process. Consider these key pillars:
One. Fairness: A flawed system, unclear instructions and user error can impact your vote accuracy. Pay mind to how long you wish to have the polls open, too, allowing everyone enough time to participate.
Two. Clarity: Is the process simple to understand?
Three. Security: Safeguard your data. Stakeholders will want guarantees surrounding their anonymity and the security of their information before casting their votes.
Whatever your AGM solution, ensuring votes are gathered in a fair, clear and secure way is of the utmost importance.
Harness your Data
Hybrid AGMs carry the boon of providing more data opportunities. Use them to gather responses from your stakeholders on key issues, monitor who is watching and their engagement, and store info to inform your organisation’s decision-making.
This data allows greater transparency with your stakeholders, demonstrating with hard numbers what they voted for and the choices made at the AGM. This could come in handy when justifying your actions down the way.
Your AGM is gone and won’t be back. But that’s OK, because it has evolved into a more robust, flexible and socially-responsible form.
Launching a Hybrid AGM sounds complicated, but with the right expertise, platform and deployment, their benefits over the old ways are clear.