The last couple of years has brought dramatic changes to the capital markets landscape, particularly in terms of how and where we connect. Health risks and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations have driven a reduction and often cancellation of in-person events such as quarterly results announcements, road shows, and Capital Markets Day (CMDs). At the same time, we’ve learned that stakeholders’ need to connect with senior executives hasn’t diminished. Digital events continue to grow in number and popularity even as some in-person events and meetings have resumed. As a result, the demand for full transparency and sophisticated digital connection continues to intensify. Expectations for investor events have never been more pressing.
The impact of health risks regarding large meetings and conferences has dominated the discussion for the last couple of years. However, growing concerns regarding ESG factors are also having a profound impact on where, what, and how we communicate as well. While the topic of ESG started as a single slide in the results or Capital Markets Day presentation deck, it has fast become a more significant portion of the larger Capital Markets Day agenda. In some cases, the topic warrants its own annual event.
Further, some organizations are also considering ESG factors such as the carbon footprint of the event itself when they determine what events they will host and how they will do so. One of the central questions has become, is it in line with one’s ESG commitments to bring investors to their geographic location or to bring content to investors digitally? When sustainability factors such as travel, venue energy consumption, printing, etc. are added up and considered, it’s no surprise that many organizations have concluded that online events are better aligned with their ESG strategy.
While it may seem daunting, hosting a digital Capital Markets Day event is achievable. Check out the best practices below to learn more.
The pandemic’s digitization of capital markets events has opened up the ability to include a much more diverse group of presenters across the organization. We’ve seen this already in CMDs held earlier in the year. The most informative CMDs are often those featuring business, R&D, or product leaders 1-3 tiers below the C-suite who offer expert perspectives on company innovations and roadmap. We recommend this approach, since it allows you to enhance the insight you provide across a wider view of the company while still facilitating C-suite networking in person, further bolstering the transparency. Pre-recording such speakers is key. It removes geographic challenges, reduces the necessity for intense media training, and allows for edited showreels across locations, functions, and products.
Modern event production must accommodate both physical and virtual attendees. Production factors such as venue and entertainment are considered as a matter of course for in-person attendees. However, they’re often overlooked for those who are remote. Maximising the impact of your digital event means thinking about how to maximise the engagement of your virtual audience. Gone are the days of playing a video in the room that hasn’t been approved for distribution online. Rather, virtual environments with content in multiples pages, tabs, or rooms of the streamed event are now commonplace. In addition, the effective use of pre-recorded video segments, multiple speakers, and supplemental content are critical.
Presentation is key, though content is still very much king. With so much information readily available and so much misleading noise about, directly providing investors with the most relevant and accurate story from the source is critical to underpin a successful CMD. Because the CMD is not always an annual event, the content needs to be relevant and resonate with investors for an extended period of time. Remember that this event is unlike results day, where you update information every quarter. Rather, the CMD is the stage for communicating both the short and mid-long term investment value of the organisation.
Sophisticated event production can be a challenge for IROs just getting started in their roles and/or in the online venue. The UK and European markets are seeing significant employee turnover and job changes. IR teams are no exception to this phenomenon, and many IR practitioners are facing in-person and digital event requirements they haven’t previously experienced. Focused and experienced service providers are proving a necessity in BOTH physical and virtual formats.
Preparing your next hybrid CMD is an exciting return to reality, an opportunity to tell the organisation’s investment story in a robust and dynamic way we’ve been missing. CMD is the time to re-engage the fundamental core of Investor Relations – connect with investors, existing and new.
If you’re looking to connect with a broader audience and tell your investment story in a more compelling, modern way, it’s time to turn your Capital Markets Day virtual. Q4 can help – we’ll collaborate with you to plan and produce a CMD customised to your business objectives and corporate vision. Contact us today to get started.