This week we take a look at virtual investor days. This topic has become increasingly important as companies switch to holding virtual conferences instead of traditional investor days, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a trend that we suspect will continue even post COVID due to convenience and lower cost. Here we outline the pros and cons of a virtual investor day, best practices and recommendations, the main structure that these events follow, and a few recent examples that have been held by different companies. Miranda-IR is happy and keen to organize your virtual Investor from beginning to end.
Pros and cons
In short, a virtual investor day (versus a traditional one) is cheaper, easier to set-up, simpler to promote (to increase reach), can be recorded for further review, and has greater tech capabilities for the Q&A sessions as well as increased control. As with everything, it’s not perfect, and some of its drawbacks include more distractions as investors multitask during the event, no personal interaction, less spontaneity, and less control on participants (risk of media and competitors entering).
If you are looking to plan a virtual event, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here at Miranda IR, we recommend the following:
- Prepare. Although virtual events are easier to organize, those presenting still need to prepare at the same level, as with a more active Q&A, preparation and readiness is key.
- Share your brand. Take advantage of the event’s registration process to advertise your business. Moog held an event on August 6th, and provided pre registered investors and analysts with supplemental information that could help during the event (through email).
- Stay on topic. Address what investors want to hear about, but that isn’t mentioned often enough (e.g. not mentioned on quarterly earnings calls). Some topics could include ESG, digital – how is the business transforming? What stage is it at in its digitization journey?
- Maintain your corporate image. Have a consistent background for all speakers, preferably with the company logo. Make sure it works well with your company’s message and make sure it does not detract from the presentation on the screen at the same time.
- Rehearse. Take advantage of planning time to rehearse for optimal lighting, stable connections, camera angles and clear audio.
- We recommend Tuesday to Thursday, either early (8am to 10am) or afternoon (3pm to 5pm).
- Manage the invite list carefully, and usually do not accept those who are clearly not investors nor analysts. One access per confirmed investor/ analyst.
Virtual investor days are following similar schedules, and have been successful through the use of platforms like ON24, Vbrick, ChorusCall, Zoom, MagYates, Hopin, etc. Here is an outline of the main structure your virtual event should follow:
The first point of contact is through email, through the use of the company’s distribution list. This email should include relevant information on the virtual investor day (date, time, duration, links, etc.), as well as the link to form to pre-register and contact details in case questions arise. After registering, participants receive a confirmation email providing the link and telephone numbers (for dial-ins) for the virtual event. On the day of the event, a reminder should be sent to the participants one hour prior to the webcast, providing all the information needed to access and follow the transmission.
Five minutes before the webcast is about to start, participants enter their login credentials used to fill the registration form. The event has an operator that presents the company and speakers, periodically reminds participants about asking questions, moderates the Q&A session and announces breaks (which are highly recommended). It is important to use platforms that allow you to watch the live event and at the same time displays the investor day presentation. It’s also a good idea to prepare promotional videos presenting the company’s products, lines of business and initiatives. The investor day concludes with a Q&A session, with questions from both dial-in participants as well as questions posted on the webcast’s chat section.
There are several platforms with different pricing depending on the number of people connecting to the call (dial-in), the number of participants for the webcast, the number of webcasts that will occur (relevant if executives are at different locations), the inclusion of break-out rooms (separate Q&A sessions), etc. According to Miranda IR research, a highly professional virtual event with 100 participants, 8 speakers, and a duration of three hours, would cost an estimated $4,000 – $8,000 USD depending on the factors mentioned above. (It can be done much, much cheaper with ZOOM webinars, but you lose a fair amount of quality doing a webinar-type Investor Day).
Here is a partial list of some recent virtual investor day examples as well as relevant information for each:
Pfizer Investor Day 2020
Platform: V Brick
Date: September 14th, 2020
Materials included: Webcast and presentations on Pfizer Overview, on Internal Medicine and on Vaccines, Transcript post-event.
Sanofi Virtual R&D Day Investor Event
Platform: Unknown (appears to be Webex)
Date: June 23rd, 2020
Materials included: Webcast and presentation on R&D
Credicorp Investor Day
Date: October 1st, 2020
Materials included: Webcast and presentation
Vistra Investor Day 2020
Platform: ON24 (by Q4)
Date: September 29th, 2020
Materials included: Webcast, Presentation and Press Release
Zoomtopia Zoom Analyst Day
Date: October 15th, 2019
Materials included: Webcast and corporate videos
According to IR Magazine research, in August the number of companies announcing investor or analyst days increased to its highest level since March, following a significant drop-off due to the Covid-19 pandemic; however with 30 announcements in August this year versus 42 last year, the numbers are still relatively low, making this a good time to plan your virtual investor. Miranda IR is here to help and is happy to organize your virtual investor day.