In-person AGMs continue to soar in the US and around the world, with virtual and hybrid formats recording a plunge in popularity in the post-pandemic world.
New research finds that 70 percent of US AGMs were conducted as an in-person event in the 2023 AGM season, with the virtual format remaining popular but dipping from 42 percent in 2022 to 28 percent this year. In line with last year, hybrid is the least-preferred format for AGMs among US companies, representing only 2 percent of meetings.
But whether it’s an in-person, virtual or hybrid event, Monday remains the least popular day of the week for AGMs, with only 6 percent of meetings taking place on this day. Wednesday and Thursday are strongly preferred, with 60 percent of AGMs being held in the middle of the work week.
This is according to Computershare’s latest US Annual Meetings Report, which collates data from more than 1,100 AGMs held by the firm’s US client base and companies in the S&P 100 in the 12 months to June 2023.
‘In-person meetings were as popular this year as they were before the pandemic, suggesting that many of our US clients have returned to a business-as-usual approach,’ says Ann Bowering, CEO of Computershare issuer services in the US.
She adds, however, that virtual meetings remain popular across many sectors: ‘Computershare clients in sectors such as funds, travel and telecommunications preferred hosting all or nearly all their meetings virtually in 2023.’
More granular data shows that in-person meetings were preferred by banks, consumer services, energy and financial sector companies.
The face-to-face trend continues even outside the US, with an even higher 79 percent of respondents across the globe preferring the in-person format. This compares with 16 percent of respondents worldwide holding their meetings fully virtually and 5 percent opting for the hybrid format.