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Key considerations when planning your Investor Day

Posted by Financial Roadshow on April 9, 2015 at 12:26 PM

Planning Your Investor Day

If you’re considering hosting an investor day, take a look at the answers to the eight most frequently asked questions we receive from companies contemplating an event.

1)     Should I host an Investor Day?

Investor days provide real benefits for both the companies that host them and attendees. First, they are an effective and efficient means to get your message out to a large audience and to build relationships that make for long-term shareholders. They provide an excellent forum for providing in-depth information about your business strategy, key competitive advantages and opportunities. They enable you to demonstrate new products, services and processes. And, these events are popular with attendees because they provide the opportunity for investors to meet and talk to your broader management team and to accomplish significant due diligence in a single day. Finally, the achieved webcast provides an excellent resource for investors and analysts you target in the following months who did not attend.

2)     Exactly what does hosting an Investor Day entail?

Investor days are significant undertakings that require the coordination of many parties including senior management, attendees and multiple internal and external resources. Tasks can be broken into five main categories:

1)    Targeting of attendees
2)    Event planning
3)    Travel
4)    Presentation development, and
5)    On-site event management.  

3)     How often should I hold an Investor Day?

Unless you are a mega cap, you will want to hold a conference every year to two years to keep your investor base up to date on your company. Coordinating it with, or following, a product introduction, change in management, change in corporate structure, major acquisition or other significant event helps to draw a larger audience.

4)     Who should I invite and how many people should I expect?

Invite analysts, sell-side and independent, that cover you and that you would like to cover you, current shareholders, those you have reached out to and those who are in your wide universe of targets. If you have a retail following invite key brokers. The more qualified invitees the better as many will not attend in person opting to view the webcast instead.

Gauging the number that will attend is always tricky. A snowstorm, sudden announcement by a competitor, and other unforeseen event can impact attendance. And you will inevitably have last minute dropouts and no-shows. Generally speaking, mid to large caps can draw a live audience of around 50 people. Companies in the news will be able to attract a higher turnout. 

5)     How long should the presentation portion be?

For most companies 2 to 3 hours. However, it depends on multiple factors. Are there significant events surrounding the meeting – such as a major merger or restructuring? How much interest is there in your story? Did attendees travel to your facility or are you hosting in a major financial center? Is this your first or your 10th investor day? Determining the length of a conference is always a balancing act where we weigh the amount of time we are asking attendees to devote and the amount of detail we want to provide. A general rule of thumb is shorter is better. 

6)     Should I include videos, demos or guest speakers?

Videos, product demonstrations and guest speakers can be an excellent addition to a conference. Video is a great means to give attendees an overview of an off-site facility, to help them get a handle on a new technology or process or to provide a testimonial. Live demonstrations, while a bit riskier, can help to create excitement about a new product. And, guest speakers who are experts in their field, or from a respected company, can be a draw, particularly for smaller caps. In a longer conference these elements can provide a welcome change of pace for the audience. The key to remember is that the main focus of the day needs to be on your team, and before adding any of these elements we want to ask how they contribute to our messaging objectives.

7)     When should I begin planning?

Because investor days require the participation and coordination of a large number of players, the farther in advance you begin planning the better. Ideally your first planning meeting will get underway four to six months prior to the event, however, with a little less sleep, we have helped companies pull off successful conferences in half that time. If you are considering hosting a conference in New York during the busy fall season, its best to allow five months and a bit of flexibility in the dates, especially if you have your heart set on a certain venue.

8)     How can I make my event a success?

The key to making certain your event is a success is to define and prioritize your objectives and what "success" will mean for your company. Is your goal to gain a wider audience or to provide a progress update to investors? Do you need to change prevailing perceptions or has there been a recent significant event such as a merger, regulatory development, research breakthrough or new product introduction that you want to create greater understanding for? Your objectives will determine how your event should be structured in terms of when and where it will be held, its length and the speaker roster.

If you’re considering hosting an investor conference, get in touch. We work with you every step of the way, providing experienced guidance to help you make your event a success.

Topics: Investor Day

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