The Benefits of Conducting Your Annual General Meeting (AGM) Online
The COVID-19 pandemic shifted the world indoors as lockdowns were put in place almost overnight. Even now, as we navigate the paradigm of the ‘new normal’, social interactions still remain largely in the digital space. Undeniably, this disruption in our daily lives has accelerated tech trends and transformed the way digital platforms are used forever.
Technology has certainly brought about extraordinary change, and with that dawns a new age of doing business in the world. Through the pandemic, businesses were forced to pivot their operations online to cope with the sudden shift, and anything from sales to annual general meetings were moved into the digital realm.
While the initial transition was in compliance with government regulations of lockdown restrictions, organizations soon realised that the virtual boardroom had a positive effect on the quality of these events. With the help of virtual management software, what was once a stopgap has become a game changer for many.
Across industries, companies are seeing digital transformation take place at unprecedented rates. A McKinsey Global Survey of executives found that the pandemic accelerated digitization of operations by three to four years. Keeping up in this new environment calls for new practices, one of which is to embrace digitally enabled solutions.
Are virtual Annual General Meetings useful?
In short, yes! Virtual AGMs have been surging in popularity as they can enhance the quality of these meetings, bringing along benefits such as improved efficiency, insights and lower cost. Especially with the right proptech tools, then you can truly harness the power of digital.
In this article, we take a look at the benefits of conducting your annual general meeting online.
Reduced cost of a virtual AGM
The fact that businesses don’t have to spend exorbitant costs on booking a venue space already means a considerable amount saved on rental cost. Virtual AGMs drastically reduce the dent in your budget as the expenses of conducting any activity online is always cheaper. Besides booking fees, which can go up to a lot, you also get to save on transport fees, catering, event organizers, assembly, travel cost, accommodation for members, and so much more.
Let’s be real, in-person company events can be expensive. Especially in cases of low attendance, the cost ratio just isn’t that justifiable. With virtual AGMs, the only significant splurge you have to think about is on the virtual event platform, which is much lower than a physical space. Dissemination of virtual AGM announcements are also limited online. These administrative tasks can be done with digital tools, doing away with the printing expenses of invites, brochures and posters. At the same time, these cost savings means that more budget is allocated to other activities (e.g. Improvements) to ensure resident satisfaction.
Also, reduced carbon footprint!
Virtual AGMs are facing the transition from a two-day long conference to a few-hour online meeting. One of the benefits that isn’t limited to companies itself is a decrease in carbon footprint. The annual general meeting is the once-in-a-year opportunity for members to catch up on company activities and new policies, and network to build better relationships. These are stretched out across a few days and take place in a central spot where attendees have to gather. And usually, it involves some traveling.
Increased on-site participation
Interaction between members of the organization is probably the most important aspect of these annual general meetings. For those who are struggling with audience attention, there is a pertinent need to keep members engaged and connected during AGMs. Despite being held in a virtual space, online events can be an exciting and dynamic experience for all.
There is much more room for creativity with content during presentations with formats like video or multimedia. Audiences are also able to interact with content during virtual AGMs through message boards, thus increasing participation and resulting in a more fruitful experience.
Administrative matters are easily taken care of
Attending events that go way past the scheduled time is something that has happened to everyone at some point of time. Organizers lose track of time, people show up late, or segments take much longer than expected. While delays are not ideal, these are all common reasons why in-person events usually drag on for longer than stated time.
When you shift your AGMs to Propty, however, there is an opportunity to utilize the tools to speed up efficiency. For instance, Propty automates simple administrative processes like tracking attendance, quorum and tabulating polls, and even sending managing digital proxies. All these are factors that can affect meeting productivity and time. Plus, since attendees are signing in from home, everyone can enter the room at the same time.
Virtual AGMs can improve accessibility
For some, distance can be a defining factor for satisfaction. Virtual AGMs can be accessed at the touch of a button – it’s that simple. This means that important members have a greater ability to attend these meetings, leading to a higher participation rate. In the past, organizers may have been unable to fulfil quorum due to several factors. Members could have been restricted through means such as geographical location, prior commitments or physical disabilities that prohibit traveling. With AGMs brought online, attendees are able to jump on the call from any remote location without making the tedious commute.
Leveraging on proptech solutions can help organizations scale by bringing the AGM to everyone, regardless of time-zones, physical limitations or location. All it takes is a working internet connection! By streamlining the entire process and being responsive to others’ needs, rather than serving the small number of members that a physical meeting is convenient for, more focus can be put on quality programs and increasing interaction.
Virtual AGMs are easier to track
The virtual-physical event debate often has differing opinions. But there is still one aspect where online events definitely triumph over in-person ones, and that is data collection. In the world of big data, analytics is one step you cannot miss. Data analytics are beneficial to your business because they provide insights into your performance and allow you to make informed decisions on future activity. Accessing the event reporting means organizations have a knowledge base of important data.
Think about how useful it would be if you could tell when your attendees joined or left during certain segments. Or if you could see the time mark when most of your audience starts to leave. Maybe a review of the questions asked can help you map out better programs? With virtual AGMs, not only is user engagement increased, it can also be tracked. You can hold polls and questions with a click of a button and get immediate results of answers and number of answers – all in real-time!
With data analytics, firms can better understand the needs of their stakeholders to optimize and make better decisions about future AGMs. Not to mention that the platform records the entire meeting so you can have a second look to pick out important pointers you may have missed.
Virtual events can provide a 360 view to everyone
Annual general meetings, online or offline, have a complex agenda that includes segments, presentations, Q&As, breakouts and more. This can get a bit overwhelming, especially considering that that is a year’s worth of discussion condensed into a day. In the property industry, that is a whole load of news, policies, plans and numbers to talk about. Hosting conferences on the right platform can provide your company with the proper community management tools to have a successful session.
Participants can view the keynote and material ahead of time, or in real-time, to get a clearer picture of the meeting. During physical meetings, members are usually only handed brochures and event schedules. In the digital space, there is an increased ability to disseminate content, from running animated presentations to playing corporate videos. Having the content on-demand can in turn increase engagement as participants can have a full view of what is going on, and can build their own agenda off it, resulting in a better quality of experience.
Organizers and facilitators are also given an aerial view when hosting an annual general meeting digitally. Propty displays information in real-time like the quorum percentage, number of co-owners or proxies in the room, and many more, all of which can provide clarity to those hosting the session. Polls results and ballots are also computed and shown on the screen during meetings. The lower downtime can make for quicker decision-making and crafting out possible courses of action.
Virtual AGMs have a high level of security
The global lockdowns that forced corporations into a work-from-home default had come suddenly, and rendered in-person meetings impossible. Companies had to pivot quickly, and this adjustment was counterintuitive for the less tech-savvy workplaces. As organizations struggled to find suitable platforms to cater to large groups, the hackers saw an opportunity to strike. Many workplaces and schools found that their meetings were disrupted and hijacked. Paired with an unfamiliarity with online platforms that resulted in glitches, software errors and confusing interfaces, the move to the virtual world was not the most friendly for some.
Fast forward to a year later, many innovative proptech solutions have managed to bridge the gap for property leaders and technology. With much more secure platforms, organizations have one less thing to worry about when conducting their virtual AGMs. All data is stored safely, among other features like IP tracking, activity logs and user authentication.
Get started with virtual property management with Propty today
The pandemic has undoubtedly played a big part in accelerating tech trends that were already emerging. Moving forward, the shift to virtual events is likely to keep growing. To stay competitive, businesses should leverage on the right tech tools to ensure longevity in this new environment.
Are you planning your next virtual annual general meeting? Or are you just tired of long phone calls and endless paperwork? Propty’s virtual AGM platform is just one of the many property management solutions for managers and landlords. From a seamless virtual experience to a smart communication platform, you can now bring your property management to a new level. If you would like to know more about our virtual meeting solutions, get in touch with us today!