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Jan 26, 2023

Investment community warms to hybrid meeting formats in 2023

Hybrid approach more popular than in person, survey finds

Management and non-management teams want more hybrid shareholder meetings in 2023, according to a new survey by ICR.

More than half (54 percent) of management teams and almost half (49 percent) of non-management teams prefer a mix of both in-person and virtual meetings.

A slight majority (51 percent) of non-management respondents prefer in-person meetings, compared with more than a third (38 percent) of management attendees who choose the same format.

The survey was conducted at the latest ICR Conference in January 2023 and collates responses from management teams, institutional investors, sell-side research analysts, investment bankers and private equity professionals.

The US communication and advisory firm says the ‘key differentiator’ leading to different responses given by management and non-management teams ‘is the party doing the traveling’.

Investment community warms to hybrid meeting formats in 2023
Meaghan Montegari, ICR

‘If the investor has expectations that management will travel to its offices, the burden of time away is placed on management,’ says Meaghan Montegari, managing director and head of ICR investor access, in an interview with IR Magazine.

‘Traditionally, non-deal roadshows meant management was taking time away from the office to meet with investors. Management felt it could effectively meet with investors to answer any pressing questions over Zoom in an efficient manner.’

Montegari also notes that the type of investor being posed the question plays a crucial role in meeting format preferences and the level of understanding of the company. In terms of event types for corporate access, she says non-deal roadshows and conferences still prove to be the two most popular.

‘Non-deal roadshows allow management to spend more time in an investor’s office to potentially meet with a greater number of senior fund managers, both local and those streamed in from other regions,’ she explains.

‘Conferences are an effective way to meet with a larger number of investors on any given day from multiple regions. They keep management from traveling to multiple cities and allow investors that may not typically have an opportunity to meet with a management team in person to connect.’

‘Ensure time is not wasted’

Understanding investors’ preferences plays a key role for IR in the layout of a successful shareholder targeting strategy. While the survey reveals a slightly stronger preference for hybrid formats, Montegari highlights that in-person engagement is still top of mind for investors.

‘I believe understanding that the investor still wants to meet with management teams in person is the key takeaway, so crafting an effective marketing plan is incredibly important,’ she adds.

‘As the dust continues to settle after the pandemic and we’re learning what the new normal is, targeting is imperative to ensure time is not wasted. Identifying who it is management wants to meet with, likely new shareholders and existing holders, the cities they are currently in for in-person meetings and when they are actually in the office will aid management in executing a productive marketing event.’