Need to pivot your Annual General Meeting? Our best advice on going virtual.
In a time when physical meetings cannot be held, we must find new ways to conduct conferences, trainings and events. Some events can shift dates and/or change their core structure, however this is not true for all events – such as Annual General Meetings (AGMs). The majority of these still need to proceed at the same time & with the same structure, which provides added challenge to the event organizer.
We have compiled our top Trippus tips for you as you pivot your AGM!
The summoning of the meeting can be sent out in the usual way – even if the meeting itself is carried out with remote participants. Utilizing the Trippus invitation module is key as you are able to see exactly who has accepted, declined, and who has yet to respond, saving valuable time and making it simple to follow-up.
Remember to check your “Article of Association” for specific requirements on how the invitations must be sent and be sure to send out the notice as soon as the statutes require.
Notification to the Meeting
Notification to a hybrid, or a totally online, annual general meeting can be handled in the same way as a physical AGM. When the meeting itself is virtual, it is logical to utilize digital platforms to handle communication & processes.
By using Trippus for registration management, accurate contact information is ensured, which is absolutely crucial in order to comply to regulations and statutes. Many organizations also have different categories of participants at their meetings where, for example, only some have the right to vote. These different categories of participants are much easier to manage via a digital tool. There are also confidence and security issues, which are easily accounted for when the organizers can validate that they have the right person attending the meeting and/or voting.
Attendance Registration and setting up Electoral roll
Knowing who is being present at a meeting is crucial when administering the voting processes. At a physical meeting, it is easy to register each participant when they arrive, either manually from a list or digitally through ticket and/or ID scanning. When the members participate remotely, we need to find other ways to manage attendance registration.
To solve for this, we recommend sending a text message through Trippus with a personal (unique) link to each participant where they can actively go in and mark themselves as present. A meeting facilitator, secretary, or another operator appointed by the Chair could then easily administer user engagement in full.
Requesting the floor
At a virtual meeting held by with members calling in, it becomes important to have a clear framework on how the participants should request the floor (ask questions). At smaller meetings, it may work for each participant to raise their hands and then speak out, but this would get lost in meetings with larger numbers of attendance.
You can utilize the Ask a Question feature in the Trippus Event App (usable via web browser or cell phone) as an elegant solution. You can have participants ‘sign up’ to speak or you could have them type their questions directly and potentially have a moderator read them, noting who has spoken.
The chairman would be able to facilitate questions and manage a debate, even if its held with virtual participants. Ideally, you would have a secretary that can manage requests to speak, change order in the waiting list, and override delegates if needed.
There are many possibilities for facilitating requesting the floor depending on your unique needs, and the Ask a Question tool is useful in creating solutions. We recommend always taking a few minutes at the start of the meeting to review how these processes will work.
Voting by hand raising, which we often see at physical meetings, does not work remotely. Instead, we need to use digital tools to enable each qualifying participant to cast their votes when needed. Through the Trippus voting tool, approved participants can cast their votes digitally.
We recommend following process:
- Present the item on the agenda
- Ask participants to cast their votes when called for (by sending out a personalized voting link)
- When everyone (or enough people, depending on the organization’s statutes) has cast their votes, the result of the vote should be displayed live on the screen shared with the participants.
Allow time between the items on the agenda so that participants feel that they are not stressed when making up their mind and voting in a new fashion.
Just as during a physical meeting, unexpected decision points can arise! You can quickly add questions and response options into the voting tool and send personal voting links to approved voters. These results can be shown to all participants live as well, making the process seamless.
Facilitation of new technology
The vast majority of AGM’s will need to utilize new technology in order to hold their meetings. Hopefully, the technology won’t be too complicated, however it is still a new thing you must keep track of (ontop of everything else!). With everything going on, it can be nice to have someone in place to take responsibility for the facilitation of the online experience. The Trippus Team is always available to assist, whether the event is physical or virtual!
NOTE – if you want help from us in planning a virtual AGM, or any other type of event, please fill in your information below and we will contact you immediately. If you are a current Trippus client and are interested in learning more, please speak to your account manager!