If you are a time-poor senior executive, Annual General Meetings (AGMs) can often feel like another bureaucratic box to tick – they take time away from running your business, are costly to organise, and are attended sometimes by just a handful of shareholders.

In fact, here are three reasons why AGMs do matter, based on our extensive experience of helping organise and manage AGMs for our clients:

1. It’s a great opportunity to introduce or restate strategy

The AGM is an opportunity for a company to engage and provide clear explanation around the Board’s thinking and decision-making to shareholders, as well as other important stakeholders, such as regulators. Companies will want to consider the event, not in isolation, but as an integral part of a continuous and meaningful investor communication plan. Investors value a well-crafted investment story.

2. It helps to set expectations

Beyond providing a regulatory update to shareholders, the AGM provides an opportunity for the Board and management to set longer terms expectations by outlining strategic changes, reviews or growth opportunities. Equally, when the news is not positive, AGMs can be used to explain with more time and in a less combative environment, where the business may have faltered – and why. And how you are setting things right.

3.  It can help attract new investors

Often, investors will have companies on their “watch lists”, waiting for more information from the company before they invest. The annual report is a good tool to engage and educate new investors and can complement other marketing activities, like roadshows and conference attendance. The same goes for an AGM – they can provide additional context and a longer term perspective.