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Investor days, earnings calls, and other capital markets events are hard enough with the economy the way it is today. Why make them any harder by abandoning your virtual event schedule and all the insights these digital engagements deliver to your office?
Here are seven reasons why you should continue to provide virtual meetings, conferences, and roundtables in the year ahead.
1. Define Your Investment Narrative
Bear markets, see-sawing sentiment, and threats of a recession can cause investor perception to fluctuate drastically from one day to the next. As a result, there’s a real risk that investors may radically rethink their positioning during these moments of upheaval.
During market volatility, it’s critical that you underscore your unique investment narrative through the following information:
- The financial metrics used to tell your investment story, pulling relevant stats from yesterday, today, and tomorrow’s projections.
- Key messaging from corporate access and C-Suite professionals.
- Your unique investment proposition compared to peers and major market movements happening in real-time.
By calling a digital investor day, you can take full advantage of how quickly and easily you share this information, pivoting as you need to update your messaging. This rapid response can help you demonstrate your stability at a volatile moment in history.
2. Increase IR Intelligence about Attendee Behavior & Preferences
Virtual event tools can track attendee behavior in greater ways than in-person participation activities. That’s because the latest IR tool collects user activity before, during, and after your event, delivering key insights about the way they interact with your team, content, and platform.
Digital attendee data is ripe with IR intelligence that provides unparalleled insights into investor behavior and preferences. You’ll be able to track and analyze the following engagement metrics:
- Breakout, chat groups, one-on-one, and fireside engagements
- Dwell time for each engagement
- Registration source
- Session attendance
- Session and track topics
- Survey, poll, and Q&A responses
3. Maximize Insights with Earnings Analytics
Your choice of IR tools plays a critical role in how easily you can integrate this IR intelligence into your overall investor relations strategy.
While some IR firms keep each app of your IR platform separate, the consulting experts at Q4 tear down tech siloes to foster greater oversight. You can harvest and aggregate IR events analytics from Q4 into the IR firm’s all-in-one engagement analytics software.
All-in-one engagement analytics links all touchstones of your IR strategy together, so you can see how your event performance impacts other areas of your platform. You can compare their behavior during investor days and earnings calls with the rest of your platform to see what content matters to them.
This oversight can help you identify patterns and trends in specific investor’s activity, in addition to overall sentiment. You can turn these insights into action, accelerating outreach or targeting with investors the second they express interest.
4. Appeal to All Investors
For many IROs, 2023 represents a much-needed return to normal regarding your capital markets events. With the pandemic’s social distancing all but a memory, you can adopt a fully physical event schedule and speak to the media and investors face-to-face.
While it may feel cathartic to escape the screen, not all of your investors share this sentiment—only about half prefer to meet you inperson. That’s according to the latest Digital Investor Survey, The Brunswick Group’s annual poll that gauges how the top institutional investors use technology to research and assess equities.
According to their 2023 report, investor preferences were almost evenly split:
- 42% prefer in-person events
- 41% prefer virtual events
- 17% have no preference
By keeping your virtual platform, you can strike a compromise and appeal to all investors with a hybrid system.
5. Streamline Your Event Experience
Don’t be surprised if investor opinion regarding virtual events changes in the future. As webcasting tools become more refined, the digital experience will become more enjoyable even to those who prefer face-to-face conferences.
The latest IR tools are just another way to prove to your shareholders that you are strong in the face of an uncertain market. Having a stable, easy-to-use platform ensures glitches and outages don’t sully your message or cast doubt on your brand.
Harvesting some of the data mentioned above (such as registration info) can help you tailor your message to your attendee’s unique demographics, needs, and expectations.
As a result, you’ll deliver a sharp, personalized event that improves on the average investor experience. With thelatest upgrades to webcasting tools, you can host a seamless digital event that can sway even those who prefer in-person meetings.
Don’t overlook the cost savings of a fully virtual event — both for your enterprise and your attendees.
First and foremost, you’ll see a noticeable difference to your bottom line. According to the American Bar Association, the average virtual event is 75% less expensive to host than physical events. That’s because you won’t have to shoulder the physical overheads of hosting inperson.
You can avoid the following costs with a virtual event:
- Accommodations for your speakers and C-Suite
- Airfare and executive travel
- Catering on the big day
- Conference space rentals
- Dinners with investors
Virtual events can also reduce many of the same costs faced by your attendees. By meeting you on the screen, they won’t have to pay for airfare, accommodation, and other incidental fees. As a result, they won’t have to compare your event against their bottom line; it’s just a matter of fitting your conference, investor day, or earnings call into their day.
You might notice a bump in attendance when you provide hybrid or virtual events, since those with limited budgets may still be able to attend. This can increase the amount of IR intelligence you collect from a previously untapped audience.
7. Attract ESG Karma
All that travel isn’t just bad for your bottom line; it may also be harmful to your branding. Corporate travel packs a wallop to the environment, accounting for 2.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions. A single flight taken by your team produces more C02 than the average person creates in an entire year.
By switching to a completely virtual schedule, you can eliminate a staggering amount of travel. For example, the cloud-based SaaS firm Salesforces was able to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 86% by going completely virtual in its fiscal year 2021.
That kind of emission clean-up can lend itself to your sustainability efforts, positioning your brand as a company committed to greener business practices.
Sustainability remains a focus in the capital markets this year, despite a slight lull in their performance in 2022. Reuters announced this spring that ESG funds are “back in vogue,” even in the face of recent bank failures. In fact, early reports show ESG equity funds outperformed traditional funds in Q1 compared to last year’s underperformance.
With ESG gaining ground, your corporate sustainability story will continue to play a role in your success on the markets, so you won’t want to miss this easy ESG story point.
Virtual events are a convenient way to engage the markets, but they offer so many opportunities to refine and improve your IR outreach. With the right tools, you can provide an unparalleled investor experience while collecting more IR intelligence to inform your decisions moving forward.
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