IR teams dive into virtual roadshows, finds research

Jul 14, 2020
IR professionals list benefits and challenges of virtual events

Virtual roadshows are now a mainstream IR practice amid the lockdowns and travel bans caused by Covid-19, according to new research from IR Magazine

Three quarters of IR professionals say they have either been on a virtual roadshow or plan to do so during 2020, finds the Covid-19 and IR report. 

The research is based on a survey of IROs, investors and sell-side analysts undertaken between May 12 and May 21. 

On a global basis, IR professionals say they have undertaken an average of 2.1 virtual roadshows so far in 2020 and plan to participate in 3.4 during the rest of the year, says the report. 

Looking at the regional findings, European companies are those most open to a digital non-deal roadshow: 83 percent of IROs in Europe say they have conducted a virtual roadshow or plan to in 2020, compared with 76 percent in Asia and 74 percent in North America. 

Respondents to the research highlight some of the benefits and challenges of virtual events during the Covid-19 outbreak:

Benefits

  • ‘Much better communication with investors’ – CEO, China, energy
  • ‘Best use of management time, given there’s no need to travel’ – head of IR, rest of world, healthcare
  • ‘Higher number of investors participating’ – head of IR, Singapore, financials

Challenges 

  • ‘It’s hard to make an emotional connection with investors’ – CFO, rest of world, healthcare
  • ‘The joy of meeting and travel is not there’ – CFO, India, energy
  • ‘No personal contact is especially challenging when meeting for the first time’ – head of IR, Switzerland, industrials

The report notes that larger companies are more likely than smaller ones to consider virtual roadshows.

Of respondents at companies of more than $5 bn in market cap, 82 percent say they either have participated or plan to take part in a virtual roadshow. By contrast, the figure is 71 percent for respondents at companies with a market cap less than $5 bn.

Click here to read the full report.

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