City Cruises

Top tips for organising the perfect AGM

Privacy, security, accessibility and a comfortable environment are some of the key attributes a venue should have if they want to successfully host Annual General Meetings (AGMs).

The advice comes from Glaziers Hall, a regular host of AGMs for companies such as Royal London and Senior PLC, with the London Bridge venue able to identify some key trends for this kind of meeting.

According to Glaziers Hall, AGMs are most likely to take place in the first two weeks of June with larger companies giving a lead time of at least six months, while smaller ones allow three to six months for planning.
Research also shows that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the most popular days of the week for AGMs to take place.

Prudence Jaguelin, Head of Operations of Glaziers Hall has outlined five areas venues should focus on to enable them to appeal to companies and organisations seeking a space for their next meeting of this type.

Make it secure and private
Information shared at AGMs is often highly sensitive, so venues must be able to offer a secure space only accessible to invitees. Often the board will meet for a breakfast discussion prior to the AGM and request a private space in which to hold it. Likewise, speakers may also need a private space to wait in, away from shareholders.

Ensure it’s comfortable
AGMs can run for a long time, especially if directors are renowned for making lengthy speeches, or attendees are unsure of how to vote on certain matters, so attendees will require a comfortable environment from temperature to refreshments and even seating. . Bear in mind that many shareholders for companies, particularly in the finance industry, include retirees and pensioners who may have mobility issues, so access arrangements will need to be flexible to accommodate them.

Think accessibility
Delegates are likely to be coming from far and wide to attend an AGM, so companies need venues with strong transport links. Once on-site, attendees will want easy access to their meeting space, so ensure areas are correctly sign-posted and that everyone can reach them.

Supply subtle AV
Presentations form an important part of AGMs, but companies are often reluctant to look like they are being extravagant with shareholders’ money, so attention-grabbing state-of-the-art technology is not what they want. Simple stage sets, branding and projections on the walls are often requested.

Cater correctly
AGMs often involve 200 to 300 guests who will have a wide range of dietary requirements, so catering can be challenging. Buffet style, easy-to-eat options with vegetarian and vegan options as standard are recommended. As a rule, large companies have lunch before the meeting starts while smaller companies opt for simpler refreshments. Either way, delegates won’t have much time out of the boardroom so ensuring a range of options are ready to be served or grabbed quickly is our top tip to getting it right.

Prudence Jaguelin said: “AGMs have very specific requirements that are not shared by other types of meetings. We have spent a great deal of time identifying what those specific needs are so we can meet and surpass them for our clients and we are pleased to be able to share our findings with others and help them capitalise on what can be a regular revenue stream if you get it right.”