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How to plan a virtual annual investor meeting

NAREIM Capital Raising & IR online roundtable, May 12

The annual investor meeting is moving online – with real estate investment managers planning to replace the one to two day in-person meeting with fund-specific sessions lasting no more than two to three hours.

During the NAREIM Capital Raising & IR online roundtable this week, members shared ideas as to how to host a virtual investor gathering, and how to make the occasion more interactive and dynamic for institutional investors:

  • Be prepared to break the meeting up over several days, if not weeks. Keep individual sessions to no more than two hours per day.

  • Provide general session content, such as asset management and rent relief updates, to all investors but lasting no more than one to two hours.

  • Managers with spring investor meetings have provided fund updates followed by fund advisory council meetings. Each fund update/meeting is on a separate date. The meetings have been spread over two weeks in some instances.

  • Some managers are planning to use Zoom to allow breakout groups for smaller, more intimate discussions among investors and managers as well as providing investors some LP-only time for their own conversations.

  • Think about pre-recording some sessions, such as research and more general updates, to allow investors to watch at their convenience.

  • Most managers with spring investor meetings decided against postponing the events and moved to virtual presentations instead.

During the roundtable, NAREIM members also discussed the impact of Covid-19 on travel by capital raising professionals.

As real estate investment managers plan a slow, phased return to the office, travel is being largely restricted to essential business, including transactions and capital raising. [Check out NAREIM’s member survey and special report on best practices for returning to rthe office, released May 8]

However, during the roundtable many managers said travel would be limited through 2020 given the cautious approach being adopted by their own corporations and an expected reluctance by institutional investors to accept managers in their own offices. One CEO in the meeting said the safety of his team was paramount, and he expected almost no travel to take place through 2020.

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