Hosting A Successful Investor Day
By Katie Turner, Managing Director, ICR and Rachel Perkins, VP, ICR
As companies look to generate interest form the investment community over time, they need to consider a broad range of activities. Hosting an investor or analyst day can be one of the more impactful steps they can take – but these events represent a significant undertaking and management teams should carefully consider their options to determine the appropriate reason or time to host the event.
Based on our experience, we find the most common reasons for hosting an investor day are: to introduce or showcase the breadth and depth of a management team; provide a deeper update on ongoing or new strategic initiatives; showcase new products, services or company facilities; provide or update a long-term financial outlook; recognize the achievement of a corporate milestone; provide greater insight regarding a recent merger or acquisition; or some combination of the above. We do not recommend hosting an analyst day when the company is undergoing a strategic review, there are interim executives in place, or the business is not on solid footing. Furthermore, companies will want to make sure the timing of the event does not conflict with any major holidays, key industry conferences or other scheduled events that would potentially reduce attendance.
In terms of content, it is important to make sure the presentation is clear, concise, and worthy of disclosure. Investors and analysts will be looking for incremental information on the business and it is important the key messages are clearly articulated and resonate with the investment community.
To ensure success you need to determine the top questions or concerns that analysts and investors would like addressed. You will know you are successful if analyst reports following the meeting outline your desired key takeaways and indicate that the various benchmarks provided are achievable – all of which should help lead to a higher share price and valuation over time.
It is also important to properly set management’s expectations regarding investment community attendance. If management is expecting 50 people and 25 investors and three sell-side analysts to show up, you may be very pleased, but management may look at the event as a failure. Be sure to set proper expectations regarding attendance.
Finally, thoughtful planning and preparation are key to a successful result. Below we have listed the Top 10 considerations for investor and analyst day planning as well as one extra recommendation that we find as a great tool for feedback post the meeting.
Date, Time, Location
- Ensure the start time makes it easy for attendees to arrive the night before or travel in and out the day of the event – even look at potential flight options out of major investment centers to ensure good options for people to get to and from the event
- Or host the event in a major city like New York, Boston, etc. to make it very easy and accessible for the investment community
- Consider reserving a room block at a hotel
- Decide if the event should be held at a corporate HQ, distribution or manufacturing facility, a hotel in New York, or a combination of the latter
- Transportation/Logistics – if the event is at HQ or a corporate facility the company should considering providing transportation to make it easier
- Buy-side and sell-side (existing and potential shareholders and research analysts)
- Number of attendees will vary depending on the company and location. For example, you are likely to get better attendance hosting in New York than Emporia, Kansas.
- If you are concerned about having too many attendees, stick to your invite list and always offer participants the option to webcast
- Send a “Save the Date” as soon as you are certain that the date and location will not move. It is okay to even just to confirm the city, for example, New York, and wait to provide RSVPs with the specific location details
- Official invitation should go out no later than six weeks in advance from the event
Presenters & Preparation
- Analyst Days are a great way to showcase the depth and breadth of an executive team. The most common presenters are the CEO and CFO, but it is important to determine who else is best to present – CMO, CIO, COO, Divisional Presidents, etc.
- Recommend presentation training for management and an overview of Regulation Fair Disclosure (“Reg FD”) in advance.
- Conduct a dry-run the day before the event
Agenda & Presentation Content
- Include breakfast and/or lunch
- 2 to 3 hours for management’s presentation
- Travel time to and from distribution or manufacturing facility or store tour
- Allot time for Q&A
- Determine what information is incremental, if anything?
- Guidance, long-term plan, strategic initiatives
- Recommend filing the presentation as an 8-K before the start of the presentation. Upon arrival, the attendees will flip through the deck to see if anything is newsworthy
- From a Reg FD perspective, we recommend webcasting the analyst day and issuing a press release in advance with the basic details on how to access the event and presentation on the IR website
- In addition, depending on the situation, companies may also issue a press release the day of the event provide an update to their strategic or long-term plan, guidance and financial targets
- Consider whether financial media interviews are an effective way to fully get the corporate story out to the financial community and raise visibility
Webcasting & A/V
- Ask the presenters if they prefer lavalier, table top, or hand-held microphones; make sure there is a hand-held microphone for Q&A so those listening via webcast can hear the question
- Consider using a comfort monitor
- If using a video, make sure there is audio capability on-site and you do a sound check in advance
- Test webcast and dial-in on-site before the start of the event
- Recommend full dry run of presentation the day prior
- Have AV technician in room for the duration of the presentation
Food and Drink
- Depending on the time of day, determine what food and beverage or snacks will be provided for the group and plan a menu in advance
- Many hotels charge you to bring from food outside vendors, or do not allow it at all
- Be aware of your limitations with catering- how many servers will there be, is there an oven or microwave on-site, etc.
Name tags or tents
- Helpful for mgmt. so they know who they are speaking with
- Bring extra blank ones in case there is a last minute add or an associate fills in for their analyst, etc.
Company Specific Goodie Bag
- Every analyst and investor loves product, especially free product! Keep in mind, many institutions have specific limitations on the value they may receive
- Recommend something small enough to fit in a carry-on
*Post Analyst Day Survey
- A great way to get feedback to see what worked well and key areas that can be approved upon for the next event