Fall is upon us and the scent of a fine buffet meal is in the air. Amid the cacophony of seasonal investor conferences and roadshows, another IR programming stalwart is vying for investors’ time – the Investor Day.
According to a recent National Investor Relations Institute study, more than two-thirds of members surveyed host some sort of periodic analyst or investor day. While the data somewhat favor the larger companies (who typically have more analyst coverage), these events are becoming increasingly popular among companies of all sizes. Two of my colleagues recently ran an investor day at the well-heeled Riviera Club in Los Angeles; two others are still recuperating from an over-subscribed investor event in New York that included the NASDAQ closing bell ceremony; and several of us are in the throes of supporting a third analyst and investor day that will include on-camera clapping for the morning bell at the New York Stock Exchange, as well as a media relations component.
And while the extensive planning and coordination might warrant a strait jacket, once completed, the effort and investment is almost always worthwhile.
The reasons for holding investor days are varied, but typically fall into the following categories:
- To showcase the depth and breadth of the management team and provide additional insights into company-driving businesses;
- To unveil a new product, product line, or company initiative;
To reveal company financial targets and the roadmap toward achieving them; or
- To introduce a newly acquired company or business and its executive team.
While company and even investor budgets are still tight, the purse strings seem to be loosening. But to ensure actual attendance matches up with a “confirmed” list, companies should think hard about creating a compelling event that is not easily bumped from the calendar.
In addition to details outlined in the NIRI survey, consider the following when planning for your next Investor Day:
- Issue a Save-the-Date notice well in advance;
- If you are hosting the event at your company headquarters, try to tie it in with a local social event or facilities tour that might help to bolster attendance (many attendees at the event going on right now will play the famed golf course afterward);
- Construct a theme that creates some personality for the event and helps to unify the message for all of the presenters;
- If the timing works in your favor, perhaps issue a splashy news release on the day of the event outlining your key message points (don’t forget to think about your media campaign and consider offering news as an exclusive to appear on the day of your event);
- Consider inviting a guest speaker(s) such as a customer or industry guru (or show a video of the same) to put your story in greater context; and,
- Make the best use of management’s time together and schedule a company planning session with the assembled division heads the day after your event.
Of course, I would be remiss in not casually mentioning the merits of utilizing a seasoned IR advisory team – even on a project basis – to help maximize the investment made for this important annual event. With the scars to prove it, a team such as ours has almost seen it all – we know what works, what’s compelling, and, of course, which hotels serve the best buffets.
— PondelWilkinson, email@example.com