Catering to Investors: Our Top Five Tips

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If you are a heading up a startup, running a venture capital or private equity fund or otherwise beholden to investors, then hosting a successful investor meeting couldn’t be more critical. You need to deliver an event that leverages your news but also appropriately recognizes the importance of your audience.

As with any event, it is critical to plan based on your objectives for your investor meeting. Do you need to win support for a critical decision? Keep investment dollars flowing into specific projects? Justify a new investment and/or consummate a deal with partners? Whatever your intended meeting takeaways, you will want to orchestrate your event – from the choice of venue to the menu and cocktails you serve – very carefully.

Here are our top 5 tips for planning a highly successful investor meeting:

#1: Timing is everything. Every industry has a seasonal pattern of activity. Conferences, annual year ends, quarterly reporting deadlines, budgeting deadlines, tax deadlines. Know your industry’s calendar and schedule your investors meeting to live at the date that gives you optimal information to share, without conflicting with other “must make” meetings your investors need to attend.

#2: Know your audience. All investors have their own expectations and employ some degree of “what’s in it for me?” scrutiny of their investments. Know the success metrics and investment decision-making criteria that matter to them as well as what will incent them (or discourage them). Some investors, if they are governmental or public for example, are also constrained by regulatory policies and can’t accept gifts or other perks of the trade. Make sure to choose a meeting venue which appropriately matches the formality (or informality) of your group and is in line with what you need to deliver (and how) to your audience.

#3: Make it easy. Investors are all busy people. They don’t have the time or the patience to sweat the meeting logistic details. They need to receive one, digestible package of meeting “need to knows”, including the agenda and supporting materials, in advance with sufficient time to prepare for the meeting so that they use their time with you as efficiently and productively as possible. Travel, transfer and destination details need to be clear and concise.

#4: Host them in style. If you are gathering your group for some pre-meeting social networking events, make sure to be sensitive to time zones they are arriving from. Give your investors some time to catch up on critical business communications before they need to start the festivities. Avoid planning events so late that your attendees are burnt out before they even begin the critical sessions, but definitely be ready to accommodate the night owls and high-energy attendees who do essential relationship building after hours. Offer plenty of breaks so your investors can attend to mission-critical issues that may arise during your meeting. Know who has to leave when and plan your agenda accordingly.

#5: Don’t go “over the top”. Most investors know they are at your meeting to listen, learn, give advice, network and make decisions. They may not be looking for a boondoggle. The more professional you are, the more professional they will feel. Plan menus, entertainment and awards celebrations accordingly, know your audience. Perception and integrity are everything when it comes to their investment dollars.

Are you planning an investor gathering? Let us help. Get in touch.