Getting Your Communications Strategy and the Logistics Right
Investor days are a lot like weddings for the investment community. They require a significant commitment of time and money along with extensive planning and coordination to ensure every aspect of the day goes flawlessly. Ultimately, the goal is to build current and potential investor confidence in your company’s plans for growth, profitability, and capital allocation long-term by bringing the entire management team together to present the investment narrative to a large audience and field questions from your stakeholders.
Because so much goes into the day, it’s critical to maximize the return. Here’s what we’ve learned from helping to orchestrate hundreds of investor days for companies of all types and sizes:
1. Make sure you’re communicating something new. Generally speaking, companies host investor days every 18 to 24 months. While investors typically enjoy these events and the opportunity to log some face time and interact with the entire management team, they do expect to come away with new information. Investor days provide the ideal setting for communicating on a variety of topics, such as a shift in strategy, announcing a strategic transaction or acquisition, setting turnaround expectations, giving long-term guidance, introducing a new management team, or sharing another facet or new layer of the investment narrative.
2. Start planning sooner rather than later. Once you determine the overall purpose or theme for the investor day, start the planning process early. Beginning four to six months in advance of the event date is a good rule of thumb. This will give you time to build your messaging strategy as well as coordinate all the logistics needed to execute the event.
3. Think down the road about how you can repackage and repurpose content for the greatest ROI. As you plan for the day, be sure to consider how the new content and messaging narratives delivered at the investor day can and should live on long after the event is over. To extend the usefulness of the work, be sure to capture video and presentations so they can be reused in materials such as the investor deck, fact book, and website later on to educate additional stakeholders.
4. Engage your management team. Getting the entire management team in the same place at the same time for a half to a whole day can be trickier than it sounds—another good reason to start early in order to coordinate schedules and travel plans. Members of the team will also have to commit time and resources to preparing the messaging and presentations, and it’s critical to ensure alignment so your team can present a unified front on its objectives and strategy. Ensure all players are prepared to put in the effort to make this critical event as successful as possible.
5. Do your research. Perception studies are an invaluable tool in prepping for an investor day. This work helps you uncover the most relevant investor issues, identify any obstacles hindering investment, and learn where there are gaps in investors’ understanding of your story. Getting an objective assessment of investor sentiment will help you hone your messaging strategy and build higher-impact presentations that deliver the information your investor base wants and needs to hear.
6. Invite the right people. Invitations should be delivered about six to eight weeks in advance of the event. You’ll want to put thought into who should be on your A-list well before that. Typically, investor days are ideal for reaching a large audience, and you’ll want to include a good mix of both current and potential shareholders as well as sell-side analysts and members of the press. You may also want to consider inviting representatives from pertinent industry groups.
7. Don’t leave the logistics to chance. From planning and marketing to onsite management of the event and wrap up, attention to every detail is what helps an investor day run smoothly from beginning to end. Consider working with a partner or advisor with extensive experience in this arena. Your partner can be invaluable in working through venue details; handling the marketing, press releases, and invites; and making sure everything is in place on the day of to facilitate a successful live presentation and webcast. Having a trusted resource to handle all the logistics will free you and your management team to focus on content and messaging.
Get the most from your next investor day.
An investor day is no doubt a major undertaking. Done right, it can deliver extraordinary value for your business by solidifying your plans for future performance, demonstrating your management bench strength and capabilities, and positioning your company as an attractive investment among an expanded pool of shareholders. If you have questions about the best ways to plan and prepare for your next investor day or you need support with messaging or logistics, give us a call. We’re happy to share our expertise and help you create an end-to-end plan for your most successful investor day yet.