At New 2ND Capital, we had been exploring ways to modernize our yearly annual meeting, including moving to a completely electronic presentation format (eliminating the expense, waste and time associated with hard copy presentations), providing remote viewing options for investors that could not attend in person, as well as looking for ways to measure attendees’ engagement with the content and speakers to improve future meetings.
Then COVID-19 came to the U.S. in March and accelerated the need for a more modern approach to the investor meeting.
Choosing Educational Measures for Fast, Modern Approach to Investor Meeting
In light of the rapidly changing environment, we decided to hold an investor meeting to provide an update on our portfolio, efforts to support our portfolio companies, and the investment opportunity ahead. While we clearly could not conduct an in-person investor meeting, we still wanted to hold a professional, engaging meeting beyond what a videoconferencing service like Zoom could offer. We wanted to focus on content, not technical considerations.
To do this, we chose Educational Measures, leveraging their technology and production services and experience. Educational Measures has long been a premier provider of production services and engagement measurement solutions for conferences in the healthcare and financial services industries, among others. We chose Education Measures’ Array Virtual offering to produce our virtual investor conferences because of their impressive technology platform, their “white glove” service, and the insightful analytical data they capture.
Increasing Audience Engagement and Interaction with Array Virtual
Educational Measures has a technology platform—Array Virtual—where the audience interacts and engages with the content we present as well as with us. They can review previous slides, take notes or draw on slides, easily ask questions on any slide or speaker point, reference supporting materials, have slides with their notes and highlights emailed to them, and other interesting features. It is a very different experience for the audience than a standard videoconference.
Importantly, we were assigned a virtual producer at the beginning of the conference planning process who helped us as we prepared materials, held a full-length dry-run ahead of the actual meeting, and was very responsive to questions or concerns that we had throughout the process. During the meeting, we were assisted by our virtual producer as well as a production team that took on the logistical and technical burden of seamlessly integrating the live presentations of multiple New 2ND Capital team members from multiple home offices locations, allowing us to focus on communicating our message and responding to questions from the audience.
Getting the Most out of Audience Engagement Data
Finally, Educational Measure’s analytic capabilities helped us understand how our audience engaged throughout the virtual investor conference. After the meeting, we were able to see which slides were most impactful, which ones were referenced the most during the presentation, where the participants were confused, and what content they struggled to comprehend. These insights helped us in our follow-up with participants and will help us understand what worked well versus less so in planning our next investor meeting.
Although we chose Education Measures to produce our virtual investor meeting, we hope that we will have in-person meetings again in the not-to-distant future. For these, we plan on using Educational Measure’s onsite solution, where they provide iPads to every attendee (set up on a closed, private network) and give them the same interactive capabilities. This is particularly important to us because we know that in the “new normal,” more of our events will need to accommodate a combination of both in-person and live, remote audiences in hybrid meetings.
For not much more than the cost of printing physical presentations for our previous in-person annual meeting, Educational measures provided us a seamless solution for communicating with our investors.
Jordan Bradley is a Partner at New 2ND Capital, a special situations secondaries firm focused on investing in the U.S. middle and lower-middle market.