Over the past several years, the workforce has shifted drastically as organizations across the world have adapted to the idea of remote work. But companies haven't only shifted their daily activities online. They've also adopted technology that allows them to connect shareholders and important organizational figures virtually, no matter where they are in the world. This means that companies can now hold shareholder meetings online, and they don't have to depend on a large group of people to congregate in one place at one time.
If your organization has never held a virtual shareholder meeting before, or you're still adapting to the practice of holding meetings online, the following list of best practices may help guide your plans. These tips can aid you in hosting a meeting that is smooth, stress-free, and easy to attend. Most importantly, all of your shareholders will have the opportunity to participate, whether they are in the room with you or working somewhere far across the globe.
Before you plan a virtual shareholder meeting and invite shareholders, make sure a virtual meeting is permitted in your company bylaws. Some organization's bylaws strictly prohibit any shareholder meeting that is not held in person, so you will need to confirm that you are not breaking any important rules by hosting it online. Additionally, check to make sure you don't need to take any additional steps, like taking a board vote, in order to utilize a virtual format.
When you plan your meeting, choose a virtual meeting platform that fits the needs of your meeting. If your company requires participation by all attendees, you want to make sure that the platform has live streaming capabilities and conferencing capabilities. The rights of shareholders at shareholder meetings are determined by local law, so be sure you review the laws in your state or region in order to know that you're picking a platform that meets all important requirements.
You will also need a platform that offers adequate security for your meeting. You should be able to restrict who can attend the virtual meeting, so you don't have uninvited, random parties joining. Restricting who can attend ensures that you don't leave yourself vulnerable to strangers who could gain access to sensitive or private information being discussed.
Once you choose the platform you're going to use to hold a virtual shareholder meeting, you should make sure that each shareholder has equal access to it. This means that you should share the technology you will be using with each shareholder with ample time before the meeting, then follow up to verify that each attendee is informed about how the meeting is being held. You should also make sure they understand how to use the technology, including the conferencing-component of the platform if you are planning to allow for discussion or Q&As after your company presentation is over.
Set rules of conduct for the meeting, including how people will submit questions, how responses will be given, how comments can be made, and more. Share these rules before the meeting, so everyone shows up knowing what to expect. In the pre-established rules of conduct, include guidance for what people should do if they are having technical trouble and need support. This will help them navigate any glitches while you or your team members are occupied running the meeting and can't help. Consider choosing a technological platform that offers real-time support, so that their support staff can be there to help attendees work through tech problems should they arise.
If you are going to allow shareholders to ask questions or participate in discussion at the virtual shareholder meeting, set reasonable time limits for each question or specific discussion. Setting time limits can ensure each issue gets addressed adequately and all shareholders feel equally heard. You should also decide on a representative to keep track of time and enforce the time limits. Having this planned in advance will help your meeting stay organized and ensure you avoid chaos, should there be any conduct that is out of order.
Do you want to host a virtual shareholder meeting this year that is smooth, easy to promote and access, and convenient to share and watch later? Consider using Viostream.
Viostream is a leading enterprise and government video platform with live streaming capabilities that allow you to easily send branded invites for the meeting and collect RSVPs and comments from invitees. You can broadcast the live stream of your meeting on the platform, then keep a recorded video of the meeting to share later with shareholders who couldn't attend—all via the same link you used in the invite.
To see if Viostream is the right solution for your company's virtual shareholder meeting, contact our customer support team today. We look forward to helping you utilize video as part of building a stronger, more cohesive and forward-thinking organization.
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