Of the total number of corporate events currently planned for next year, just 11 percent are slated to be virtual, according to new data from Wall Street Horizon, which has been tracking the announcement of analyst days, investor conferences, capital markets days and other corporate events.
Although the data looks at what has been scheduled as of December 16, 2021 (across US companies), the numbers indicate a move toward more of a ‘return to normal’ despite the emergence of the fast-spreading Omicron variant of Covid-19, says Wall Street Horizon.
‘So far the number of virtual events has pared down from last year,’ it says in a statement. ‘In December 2020, nearly a third (32.4 percent) of all announced events for the following year were scheduled to be virtual. Currently only 11 percent of investor conferences and events scheduled for 2022 will be held virtually.’
The firm notes that some types of events have traditionally been virtual anyway – such as earnings calls – while others have ‘been in flux’ since 2020 (it says 47 percent of shareholder meetings were virtual in 2021) and others still ‘were just plain cancelled’ to avoid infection risk.
Overall numbers for virtual and/or in person are also up – some notably more than others – across a range of key corporate events. In December 2019, for example, 232 investor conferences were planned for the following year, a figure that dropped to 116 in 2021 planning.
Today, companies have 192 investor conferences in the diary. Other events, such as analyst days and capital markets days have seen only a modest increase in planned events. Companies currently have 50 and 31 such events, respectively, in the diary – up from the 47 and 29 they had planned for 2021. Those numbers are a notable drop from the 65 analyst days on the cards as of December 2019 and the 36 capital markets days that companies had in the diary for 2020, before the pandemic hit.
‘The good news: we’re seeing the volume of investor conferences and events return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022. More so, we’re seeing an even greater turnout for presenters and attendees,’ says Wall Street Horizon.
But it stresses that much could change – and quickly. ‘The caveat: we know this could all change at a moment’s notice, whether it be with the spread of Omicron or the next variant to emerge,’ the firm continues. ‘Just this past Wednesday [December 15], JPMorgan Chase announced its big annual healthcare conference held in mid-January would go virtual, after initial plans to be in person in San Francisco.’
Wall Street Horizon notes that the majority of the events scheduled so far are for Q1 2022.