Making an impact with your Capital Markets Event

Good communication with stakeholders is vital for a successful listed company and a Capital Markets Event (CME) can be a key element of this. The CME provides an opportunity for a company to provide institutional shareholders, sell side analysts and potential investors with the chance to hear about the business in much more detail than at a results meeting – its markets, key growth drivers, ESG strategy and most importantly, to showcase the depth and quality of its senior management beyond the CEO and CFO.

The popular CME format is a product arising from the evolution of the longer, traditional Capital Markets Day (CMD) which have been widely ditched in favour of much shorter CMEs of 2-3 hours with the emphasis very much on quality over quantity and where the audience is less likely to suffer death by PowerPoint. The aim is to have short, punchy presentations from divisional heads who have been well trained to deliver a passionate overview about the business and their specialism. Even when a fuller event does happen – for example including a site visit – the sit down presentation element should remain to the point and compelling.

So where does one start when planning a CME? Firstly, you need to pick a date that is not in the middle of a busy results day and find an appealing location – with good presentation facilities – which is easily accessible to your audience. At the same time, the company and its advisers need to be very honest about what will make the event attractive to its invitees. Ideally the company will be unveiling a new strategy, giving a deep dive into some specific divisions or a detailed picture of a recent acquisition. Whatever the components, the company should be flagging its compelling growth strategy supported by enthusiastic speakers who can give greater detail and insight into their area of the business, often accompanied by case studies to bring the story to life. The presence of an independent third party – an important customer or supplier – either in person or via a pre-recorded video, can be a very powerful way of endorsing the investment story.

A particular requirement at the planning stage is to agree what will be the key theme or themes running through all the presentations so that when the guests leave the event they have some clear investment case takeaways. Analysts and investors are more time-conscious than ever before and want to make efficient use of a CME – getting a proper look under the bonnet of a company and meeting or hearing from a wider backbench of executives and talent. In this respect, soundings should be taken in advance from advisers, sell side analysts and even shareholders to gauge their areas of interest or perhaps misconceptions which can be taken into account when drafting the overall presentation.

Small details make a difference. It is always good to issue a ‘save the date’ far in advance to help secure a good attendance. Consider an afternoon event to avoid any unforeseen busy mornings in the financial markets or guests deciding they need to join a last minute meeting over staying at your event. Thought needs to be given to the way guests can access the event. Larger companies with international investors need to offer a hybrid event with live coverage whereas for smaller companies an in-person only event can be preferable to avoid the temptation of guests opting to just join online. But it is a good idea to video the event and post shortly afterwards on the company’s website. Also, the invitation should clearly state the start and finish time – allowing time for Q&As after the presentations – with slots for a coffee break. This implies a well organised event which won’t run over time.

An important part of any CME is an informal reception at the end of the event. This gives guests an opportunity to speak to company execs on an individual basis but if an event overruns don’t expect everyone to stay on. The reception also allows a company to exhibit some of its products and is often cited as the most appreciated part of a CME. It is important for the company representatives to remember that, while the main part of the event is over, they are still ‘presenting’ in this more informal setting.

And finally, as with any investor event, it is always a good idea to ask attendees for their feedback as it is not only useful for future CMEs but can also flag issues which can be covered off in the next results meeting.

A planned, punchy and precise CME is an excellent tool for communicating your company’s story and investment case to stakeholders. If Hudson Sandler can help you with your event drop us a line at capitalmarkets@hudsonsandler.com