Great Investor Relations Events Just “Happen” ... Right?

White Paper excerpts including great tips and career threatening mistakes to avoid when talking to Wall Street from Presentation Development to Event Production. First in a series on how to produce awesome Investor Relations Events by Articulate founder Brian VandenBroucke. For a complete copy of this whitepaper just click "CONTACT" and request the full copy. 

Telling your company’s story at an investor relations conference can be an effective way to build and solidify your reputation on Wall Street and add value for shareholders.  But company executives who are highly skilled at selling their products to customers can make embarrassing mistakes when trying to communicate with the financial community in the form of an Investor Relations Event. Producing a successful Investor Event begins with a unified message aimed at the ears of an investor audience. Too often, executive presentations get repurposed from other sales channels and miss focusing on what investors care about the most—the money! They may find some passing interest in how your product or service works, but at the end of the day, corporate messaging focused on what’s important to them is all that matters.  And the investor relations department must take the lead by choosing the right presenters and leading the team in a disciplined approach to presentation content development that means something to money people.  This in addition to rehearsing the presentations and being ready for every contingency, as events and presentations are usually far more difficult to prepare than they appear at first glance. Articulate Creative Communications has helped companies stage hundreds of events, and I hope that the ideas presented here will help make your next investor conference a raging success, for your company and your career as an IR professional.

As an investor relations event professional, have you encountered one or more of these preventable nightmare scenarios?

- Because of your tight budget, you opted not to hire a professional Audio/Visual company to handle your sound and projection needs.   As the investor conference begins, you realize that your in-house sound system is so painfully weak that half the audience can’t hear the speaker, not to mention that the PowerPoint slides are so washed out on screen that they are nearly illegible.

- Your company’s leading technical expert comes to the podium and clicks to a slide that’s jammed with equations and a complicated graph no one really understands. “Let me explain the physics behind our new magnetic resonance analyzer,” he says with a confident smile, as the audience members squirm in their seats and check their iPhone.

- A week before the investor conference, two business unit VPs and three product line directors insisted on being shoehorned into the investor showcase agenda.  All of the speakers have gone over their time limit. Now it’s already lunch time, and the 10:00 o’clock speaker is still at the podium flashing a laser pointer at a slide full of incomprehensible numbers.

- The expensive 3D animation you prepared to crystalize your value proposition which looked so great on your desktop ... for some reason is moving in slow motion in the far right corner of the big screen, bringing unintended coughing laughter from 75 Wall Street analysts. 

- One vice president tells the audience that the company has been raising prices to improve margins, another VP says that the company has been granting discounts to improve market share, and a third VP says he doesn’t know what’s happening with prices because they are set by local managers--making those same analysts wonder whether these guys work at the same company. 

- Your CFO arrives at the analyst conference just in time for the Q&A session, without having heard the good-news stories from four other top executives.  When asked for guidance on earnings for the next quarter he hesitates, scratches his unshaven chin and then says, “Weaker than we thought.”

- Your charismatic CEO who didn’t show up to any of the event planning meetings, highjacks the investor conference by going off point, ignoring your theme focused on "cost containment and sustainable margins," and bellows into the microphone to let Wall Street know “what I’m doing to return our company to greatness.”

In the following 16 brief chapters delivered weekly on this blog, I’ll discuss proven ways to avoid nightmares like these and more, so everyone who attends your next investor event will have a positive view of your company, its financial future and the IR event production team (you.) 

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