by Lisa Rose

October 21, 2014

Companies have been hosting analyst days for forever. While they have certainly evolved over the years, the premise – and promise – of these company-hosted events remains the same: the opportunity to tell your company’s story directly to a room full of key investors and analysts.

Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Sure. But our experience with our clients indicates that companies are looking for ways to get more of out their event. After all, a lot of work goes into making analyst days happen. The chance to be in front of such key people all at once is worth the extra effort.

‘Tis the season for analyst days, so here are a few tips for making the most of yours:

1) Reconsider the “day.”

Many companies are moving away from an all-day or even half-day event to a succinct two-to-three-hour event. While a full day might still work for your company, there are many options for length and structure. Figure out what makes sense for your management team and go with that approach – no need to make last six hours if you don’t have the rich content or ability to fill that time appropriately and meaningfully.

2) Take into account your other IR events when scheduling your analyst day.

Earnings, for example. Avoid having those events close together if possible. This is not only to make your life less difficult, but for your attendees as well.

3) Plant and facilities tours are a good idea. But don’t force it.

Analysts and investors appreciate the opportunity to get a close-up look at your facilities. But consider the time of year and how easy or difficult it is to travel to your location when evaluating whether this makes sense for your company. We like the idea of a plant tour every other year, alternating with a traditional analyst event in a more accessible location like New York City.

4) Videos and other interactive electronic displays can enhance the event.

The question should always be, “Is this adding value?”  “Is it a compelling way to tell our story?”  If done properly, a three-minute video can leave a lasting impression and can live beyond the analyst day.

5) It’s all about the presentation(s).

When planning the agenda, determine the key takeaways for your audience. Are you providing a financial/guidance update? Or are you focusing more on strategy? And be sure to equip new presenters with some coaching. Even a good speaker can fall flat if the slide deck doesn’t do a good job of supporting what they are saying or if they get thrown by the venue or audience.

6) Q&A time is critical.

We hear this over and over again – from participants.  Be sure to leave enough time for questions.  Nothing frustrates the investment community more than sitting through several hours of a presentation and then not being able to get questions answered . Also, be sure to keep your executive team around after the event for a few one-on-one conversations with analysts and investors – they appreciate the face time with management.

7) Survey attendees after the event.

As a follow-up, thank attendees for coming and include an electronic survey a day or two after the event. It should be fairly short and easy to complete – which means being very selective about which questions you make open-ended. The feedback will be helpful when deciding what to do for your next analyst day.

What have you found to work really well when holding an analyst/investor day? Tweet us your thoughts!