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Biggest Mistake Private Equity & Venture Capital Firms Make in Planning Their Annual General Meeting

Updated: Apr 23

Panelist Mary Adams, Avivant Partners Founder & CEO
Private Equity International Investor Relations Conference

Leveraging Disney’s Model for a Winning Experience, by Mary Adams, Founder & CEO, Avivant Partners

Last month I participated in a panel discussion titled “Designing Your Investor Experience” at Private Equity Internationals’ Investor Relations, Marketing & Communications Forum. At the conference, I shared one of the most shocking mistakes private equity and venture capital firms continue to make. There is an enormous amount of human and monetary resources expended on planning for an Annual General Meeting (AGM). So, why are staff burnt out and decks haphazardly put together at the 11th hour? Too often PE/VC firms skimp on the actual execution of their AGM and shy away from hiring professional marketers and meeting planners. Do you know what that means? Firms perceive that they are “saving” money by burdening internal resources while costing themselves the opportunity to create an impressive and positive investor experience.

Our panel moderator, Tim Flannery from Passthrough posed a question: Who does AGMs well? I shared the example of how Disney garners an incredibly powerful model for engaging park-goers that we can apply to produce an effective AGM.

Just like planning for and experiencing a ride at Disneyworld, your AGM should follow a similar formula from marketing through follow-up:

  1. Marketing: Create interest by sending details about what to expect when you arrive (researching the ride ahead of time to build curiosity).

  2. Differentiate Your Content & Onsite Event: Generate energy and anticipation onsite (you’re walking through the park, hearing chatter and excitement from other like-minded ride-goers).

  3. Plan and Execute an Elevated AGM Experience: Guide your audience on the journey – ensuring they experience what you intend for them (Disney is fabulous at telling the story and having us “feel” what they want us to).

  4. Continue the Engagement: When the event (ride) is over – It. Is. Not. Over. Capitalize on the momentum of the AGM and follow-up. Motivate your investors to "ride" with you again. Disney rides typically drop us off in the gift shop, where we invest in swag, subscriptions, and other ways to stay connected to their brand.

  5. Plan Professionally: Start planning for next year. You can't afford to miss the opportunity with your most important stakeholders.

The AGM is a continual process just like a Disney ride. It is a 12-month loop of communication, engagement, relationship-building, and the ultimate experience of your brand. You have precious little time with your investors. Use it wisely.

We’re passionate about helping private equity and venture capital firms do this right. Contact us, even if to brainstorm - (201) 445-7007 or


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