A well-run Investor Day can be an incredibly valuable part of your investor relations strategy. It’s a great way to cultivate relationships with existing investors and covering analysts, and to introduce/enhance prospective investors’ and analysts’ understanding of your story.
Timely and strategic planning are integral to hosting a successful event. Drawing on our many years of attending and participating in Investor Days, we can be a valuable resource as you prepare for yours.
With that in mind, here are the most important things to consider as you begin your planning:
1. Focus on content first. Incremental information is a must. If you don’t provide your audience with meaningful insight into a new product, a recent acquisition, a change in business strategy, or some other material development, they’ll wonder why you called them in.
2. Pay attention to timing. Nothing will do more to hurt your Investor Day attendance than holding it concurrently with another important event — a significant industry conference, for example, or during the thick of earnings season. Avoid any dates that your competitors or key industry leaders have already announced for their own events, too. Finally, whatever date you pick, make sure you leave enough time to promote the event, for your invitees to clear their schedules, and for your speakers to prepare.
3. Assign responsibility for content creation and delivery. Investor Day is the micromanager’s dream event, because every moment of it should be planned out in precise detail. Start by building your agenda, being specific about how much time you’ll dedicate to each item on it. Decide who will compose and deliver each presentation, and give each presenter as much direction as possible about what you’re looking for, including how much time they’ll have and even how many slides they can use. Potential speakers include members of the executive management team, of course, but also divisional presidents, surgeon/practitioner customers, and Key-Opinion leaders. With so many people involved, deadlines that everyone observes are critical. Create a detailed timeline for the planning that includes due dates for all of the various drafts. And don’t forget to allocate time for practice.
4. When it comes to your attendees, focus on quality over quantity. Yes, cast a wide net with your invitation list, but your top priority probably shouldn’t be scoring the biggest head count. Instead, your goal is to assemble an audience with a strong showing from your top institutional shareholders and each of your sell-side analysts.
5. Employees in attendance need prep, too. Even personnel who will not be taking part in the formal presentation need to be prepared to interact appropriately with Wall Street pros. Consider providing them with a refresher course on Reg FD.
6. Avoid common pitfalls. We’ve seen plenty of well-planned Investor Days foiled by logistical snafus. Don’t let that happen to you. If your event will be held outside your office, make sure you preview the venue in advance, and understand the A/V capabilities.
7. Rehearsals are not optional. There’s more to Investor Day prep than having a good plan. You have to practice. Make sure you preview your venue in advance, and conduct live run-throughs relying on the very same audio-visual equipment you will use during the investor day. And also be sure to spend time anticipating questions, crafting informed responses, and practicing those answers.
We have a lot more to say on how to have a great Investor Day, and would be happy to assist you in getting the most out of this important event. Feel free to reach out.