By Rob Meek, Event Project Manager, Staging Connections, Vic
Executing hundreds of AGMs both big and small over the years, Staging Connections’ event managers and technical professionals have pulled together some essential guidelines and insight on how to deliver a seamless AGM.
Location, Location, Location
- Face to face is best – Always arrange a site visit in person as the space can look very different online.
- It comes in threes – Visit up to three different venues and when you’ve engaged one, invite your event management organisation along.
- Get technical – Assess the technical capabilities of the venue at the site visit – audio, visual, internet connection for video streaming etc.
Create a Floor Plan
- Visualise it – Sketch out a layout or seating plan with the chosen space in mind – this will help you visualise the AGM.
- Think differently – Think about your chosen space differently to any other event. For an AGM consider working with the venue in say a “landscape” mode – this can often help with maximising the space.
- Please be seated – Major corporations will require a large board table – typically this head table can span width ways up to 12metres across depending upon how many board members and delegates are representing the company.
- The difference is in the little touches – Add drapes behind the stage as a backdrop to enable the board to be easily seen if on camera or when answering questions.
- Graphs, Stats and Charts – AGMs will typically require projection and screens to display important charts, graphs and statistics for their business developments.
- The magic number – Have a minimum of two screens either side of the head table – and place them so they can be viewed by the attending audience and online if you are video streaming.
- Make the Unseen: Seen – Offer fold-back vision monitors for the head table so directors can follow what is occurring with the presentation without having to turn around 180 degrees.
- The Power of Auto-Cue–Use auto cue so that all of the essential details of the speeches are outlined beforehand to enable the chairman and directors to relax and engage the audience more effectively.
- Do you hear what I hear? – To ensure a crisp, clear sound, make sure you have the appropriate number of table and lapel microphones and take the time to test the front of house speaker system from various positions in the room.
- Light it up – Balance the lighting evenly across the head table using a solution such as Fresnel lighting.
Get prepped – make sure you prepare or request a Run Sheet
The AGM is not a standard event it could span a couple of hours or up to half a day with Q&A following the main presentations – a run sheet is crucial for everyone involved to know when, where and who is doing what.
An AGM run sheet commonly consists of:
- Meeting called to order, announcements, apologies and previous meeting minutes
- Order of business
- Opening speeches (welcome address)
- Chairman’s address
- Presentation of accounts
- Questions and Answers on the accounts
- Motions, nominations, voting and elections
- Open discussion of general business – launch of next annual plan
Make the most of the compulsory elements
Most AGMs now offer more than just an audio recording for their stakeholders. Video streaming live to the web allows a broader audience access to the AGM, be it your internal team or a range of current and potential shareholders who are unable to attend in person.
Conferencing technology can open up the floor to questions and answers inside and outside of the main space giving a rare opportunity to access the key leaders in the business.
The Devil is in the Detail
To deliver a successful AGM start planning as early as possible, this can be up to a year in advance for some major corporations. Offer as much detail up front as possible to the event organiser.
And Remember – The AGM is one of the most important events on the calendar and can be used to effectively communicate and engage key stakeholders in the business – make your organisation’s AGM more than just a financial wrap-up.