Once you’ve made the decision to host an investor day, there are a few critical things to accomplish before announcing it publicly — namely, selecting the date, location, and speakers. A well-planned event is much more likely to be a well-attended event. How can you avoid mistakes and plan an effective investor day? Below, I share a few strategies.
Select the right date.
No one wants to send out a “save the date” announcement only to find out that most of your anticipated guests have a conflict. Be careful to consider Wall Street conferences, previously scheduled investor days by companies your covering analysts also follow, and religious holidays. All of these have the potential to prompt an investor to make the tough decision to skip your event and just listen to a replay of the webcast.
Determine the best location.
Once you figure out your date, the next step is location. Would you like to host the investor day at your headquarters? What about at a new facility (mainly for services companies), or in New York? Each option comes with its own unique pros and cons. For instance, holding the event at your offices allows you to showcase your headquarters and present a broader scope of your team. New York, on the other hand, is likely the most convenient choice for your audience, and the convenience factor alone may entice people who were on the fence about attending to make the trip. If you do choose New York, be sure to get quotes from at least three hotels for room, catering, and AV charges, and keep in mind that these prices are negotiable.
Additionally, when it comes to investor day locations, remember that trading exchanges (NYSE and NASDAQ) have meeting spaces that you can use for a potentially unique location. Most people don’t get the opportunity to see firsthand where their shares are actually traded, so planning an investor day there can come across as appealing.
Choose and notify your speakers.
Finally, create a rough outline of the event and identify your potential speakers. In addition to senior management, speakers usually include divisional presidents, customers/end users, and subject-matter experts. Once you have the date and city locked in, reach out to your potential speakers and panelists to see if they are able to participate. If so, have them block the date.
Spread the word.
With the above boxes checked, you can move ahead to your “save the date” announcement for your investor day. When should you send it, and to whom? We recommend sending the “save the date” three months in advance of the event to the following potential participants:
- Your existing analysts
- Analysts in your space
- Existing shareholders
- Investors/accounts you’ve met over the past year (but who are not yet shareholders)
- Other marquee accounts not present on the other lists
This comprehensive approach will lead to a better turnout at your event. And once you spread the word to these key constituents, you can start planning the content and presentation. For strategies, read this two-post blog series by my colleague Paul Chun, “Fine-Tune Your Investor Deck for Success.”