Due to the pandemic, non-deal roadshows changed significantly and may never return to the way they were before. According to IR Magazine’s Global Roadshow Report 2021, 80% of IROs think the pandemic led to permanent changes in roadshows. The most significant changes include how roadshows are held (in-person or virtual), the number of brokers used and senior management attendance. In this week’s blog, we will talk about these significant changes in roadshow activity and the key aspects to consider when planning a roadshow in today’s environment.
IR Magazine’s sample of 615 companies is well diversified in terms of regions (North America, Europe, Asia and Rest of the World), market cap (mega, large, mid and small cap) and industries (industrials, financials, technology, consumer discretionary, etc.). For further information on the sample’s distribution, please refer to page 5 of the report. The time frame for this analysis was from 3Q20 to 3Q21.
Here are some interesting statistics on virtual vs. in-person roadshows:
- Only 7% of the companies in the sample had an in-person roadshow. This compares with 81% of companies that went on the road from Q3 2019 to Q2 2020 and 93% in the previous year. This steep decline shows how the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic eradicated most of the in-person roadshows for most of the companies.
- 61% of the companies in the sample held virtual roadshows, almost nine times the number that went on in-person roadshows during the same period. Europe and North America stand out from the sample with 65% and 64%, respectively. Asia held the least number of virtual roadshows over the period with only 48%.
The following table shows a more detailed breakdown of in-person vs. virtual roadshows:
Global Roadshows Statistics 2021
Average # of roadshows / year
Average # of days / roadshow
Average # of days on the road / year
Average # of brokers used
IRO satisfaction level
Source: IR Magazine (Global Roadshow Report 2021)
Looking at the results, virtual roadshows were clearly more popular than in-person. It is important to note that in the case of the virtual roadshows, the attendance of top management was significantly higher. We always recommend having top management at roadshows, since it is a great opportunity for investors to learn about the company directly from those who run it. Also, on average, companies had almost twice as many virtual vs. in-person roadshows.
Still, as the virtual roadshow dynamic is relatively new for everyone (both IR teams and investors), it’s important to mention the benefits of holding a virtual roadshow:
- Besides having lower costs and a bigger audience base, having a virtual roadshow in your office can allow you to have more personnel and resources available for your meetings. For example, you can have a project manager or team leader drop by and address investor questions firsthand, instead of having to resort to “let me talk to them and we will get back to you”
- Opportunity to reach investors that are in locations that may otherwise be difficult to reach. Also, you can have meetings with investors in completely different locations in the same roadshow, saving time and making the agenda more efficient.
- As you don’t need to travel, you can easily coordinate with the top management and involve at least one member in your meetings. Roadshows are a great way to build trust between investors and management, that is why having top management in those meetings is important.
- Time saved in both planning and attending roadshows. Time efficiency is key when scheduling meetings, both for investors and for the management team. Virtual can get you more meetings in less time.
On the other hand, the main disadvantage of having only virtual meetings is that you lose engagement, since the ability to establish and grow interpersonal relations is more difficult through a computer screen.
Regardless, IR teams must evolve and adapt to the current situation. That is why we present to you some tips that can help you plan a great virtual roadshow in today’s environment:
- Talk with your IT service provider: it is important to keep in mind that not all virtual events share the same requirements, which is why you should get in touch with your provider to evaluate different tools and choose the best for your specific needs.
- Limit attendants and the length of the meeting: while one-on-one or small group meetings can run smoothly virtually, larger group meetings tend to lead to less engagement because not everyone can get a word in, and attendees remain as listeners only. Remember ‘presentation mode’ is not ideal for this type of meetings, and a two-way conversation should always be encouraged.
- Guest speakers are always welcome: the attendance of senior executives can play to your advantage and be a differentiator among other meetings. Make sure investors are aware of the people that will join the meeting, letting them know the management is happy to meet with them and excited to get a chance to answer their questions.
- Engagement: if going for the virtual option, opt for a video conference rather than a call. This promotes face-to-face interaction and encourages investors to turn their cameras on, making them less likely to get distracted and feel more invested in the conversation.
- Consistency: While C-suite executives’ attendance is important, it’s event more relevant to make your communication with investors consistent. A reliable IR team is key, which is why IR only meetings are also a feasible option. Also, make sure to connect with your key or potential investors on a regular basis (2-4 times per year), this will help build stronger relationships with them.
- Brokers: companies usually work with an investment bank to get NDR meetings. Bank of America Merrill Lynch was the most-used broker for virtual roadshows in 3Q21, followed closely by JP Morgan Chase (according to IR Magazine’s report). Investment bankers tend to focus their roadshow meetings based on their current client portfolio, whereas an IR consultant can access potential investors that match what the management is looking for.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to define your message, instead of letting the media or analyst do it for you. We recommend having a presentation or slide deck designed specifically for the roadshow and that include answers to the most frequent questions you get at investor conferences. If you need any help planning your roadshow, getting the presentation ready or with the technology, please let us know. At Miranda IR, we have plenty of experience and will be more than happy to help.
Contacts at Miranda Partners