Hosting an Investor Day is a rite of passage for many public companies. As microcap companies approach or cross the threshold to small cap status, the Investor Day is an investor relations tool that management teams may utilize to constructively engage with investors. At IMS, we have hosted several successful Investor Days with our clients. Each Company is different so there is no “set” formula for success, but below are some helpful points to keep in mind:
Avoid creating another stale corporate event; make sure the Investor Day reflects the Company’s personality
Investors attend Investor Days in order to take a deeper dive into a business, including the corporate culture. Be creative in the orchestration of the day so it best reflects the Company’s personality: give the day a theme, orchestrate a thoughtful and engaging facility tour with interaction with a variety of management level employees, and send attendees home with product samples and plenty of swag.
Let the broader management team shine
As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.” The CEO provides the essential vision and is the central host of the event. That said, a good CEO also puts a strong team in place and the Investor Day is an opportunity for that team to shine. Prepare middle management in terms of the guardrails of Regulation FD, then include them in not only the prepared formal presentation, but also in the Q&A and investor tours.
Get beyond the numbers
An Investor Day should not solely revolve around discussions of gross margin basis points, amortization and debt covenants. The Investor Day offers a unique opportunity for attendees to absorb the product or service that ultimately drives the P&L; that is why they are there. Investors should leave the Investor Day with a passion for the product or service so that the next day they return to the office and tell their co-workers, “Wow, the next generation product that these guys are launching is amazing.” By helping investors become emotional owners of the business, you are encouraging them to think longer term about their investment.
Make it easy for the investor
Logistics matter and reflect on the company:
Proactively coordinate lodging and transportation
Stay in touch with each of the attendees leading up to the event and be accessible for questions
If the event is not at the corporate headquarters, host at a venue that is easy to get to
Coordinate the timing of the event so that it respects attendees’ time. Keep the time requirement for the attendee to no more than a day and a half including travel. This will also increase attendance.
Think twice before simulcasting the event
The goal is for investors to personally attend the event. To that end, frequently we will not publicize that the event will be simulcast, but will subsequently post the event on the corporate website and issue a press release about its availability. This also covers the company from a Regulation FD standpoint.
John Nesbett, President, IMS