Every public business is required to conduct an annual shareholders meeting in order to discuss and plan various aspects of official business. It’s important for you to be fully prepared with a detailed agenda so the meeting goes smoothly. Here is a checklist of important things to keep in mind as you develop your strategy.
1. Make a list of your goals: This is the most important aspect of your checklist as it will set the agenda and keep everything organized.
2. Create a script: Mark down details of what should occur during the meeting from beginning to end. Doing so will help guarantee the meeting ends on time and that all goals are met.
3. Pinpoint the themes of the meeting: Craft a message you wish to present with no more than a three themes. Think about what main issues you wish to discuss, and keep the message concise and unified.
4. Choose and work with presenters: There will be multiple presenters at your meeting. Decide who will present and assist them in outlining their scripts.
5. Record task assignments: Do this in an organized timeline with check-off boxes. Write down deadlines and the individuals responsible for completing each task.
6. Prepare questions: Research relevant questions and be ready to ask them of the presenters. This makes for a more informational and engaging meeting.
7. Have backup plans: You never know when disruptions will occur to your meeting. Power might be lost, a medical emergency may occur, or a projector could fail to work. Be prepared for potential roadblocks and how you will continue the meeting regardless of interruptions.
8. Make a control book: This book will hold all crucial information relevant to the meeting. You can use the book to record the location, date, and time of the meeting; agenda; script; speeches; press releases; motions; arrangements; task assignments; and contact information for participants. This information should be made available to all organizers and act as a guide for meetings that occur in the future.
9. Make guest lists: Many times people other than shareholders will attend the annual meeting or other related events. Make sure all invited guests are listed properly.
10. Utilize the meeting for media: Take advantage of the meeting to produce coverage of your business. You can invite members of the media, prepare media kits, and offer interviews with directors and officers. Your media kit can include press releases, quarterlies, an annual report, product literature, and biographies.
11. Prepare every detail of the meeting room: Remember this meeting is important for you to secure existing investors and gain future ones. Make sure the room is prepared for ultimate functionality and comfort. Ensure audiovisual equipment is working correctly and that each invitee has a comfortable place to sit. All presenters should be seen and heard easily by everyone in the room.
12. Conduct a rehearsal: All speakers and relevant participants should perform a rehearsal of the meeting before it takes place. There should be at least one rehearsal if not more. This will help everyone get a grasp of their responsibilities and timing. Give your presenters stopwatches to time themselves.
13. Debrief after the meeting: It’s crucial that every aspect of the meeting is analyzed, including successes, failures, and solutions. Discuss all of these after the meeting and use the debriefing to prepare for your next annual meeting.
Yearly meetings are important for assessing your company’s current situation and how to move forward. Make sure the format is pre-determined and that everyone is ready for a smooth and timely meeting. Go through the above checklist and make certain you are as prepared as possible. A successful meeting will ensure the confidence of your investors and contribute to future financial success.
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