Transcribe minutes of annual meetings
We would like to give you some advice on how to conduct and run an annual meeting, because just like any other meeting, it needs to be carefully planned to be successful. If you are new to the process planning, an annual meeting might be a huge challenge and you are probably under a lot of pressure in order to get everything done.
Maybe you would think that annual meetings are super exciting and thrilling, but usually they aren’t really that interesting. Nevertheless, not only annual meetings are required under state law and under stock exchange listing requirements for public companies, but no one can really deny that they are very important – if only because they gather most shareholders of the company. And as we know, shareholders are key figures for companies – they are a very important link when it comes to planning the future developments and the path that the company is going to be on the following year, since they get a vote on matters proposed by companies’ managers. At annual meeting, shareholders and partners often get copies of the company’s accounts, they review fiscal information for the past year, and they ask questions and have a saying regarding the directions the business will take in the future. Also, at the annual meeting shareholders elect the directors who will manage the company.
So, let’s start with some suggestions that you should take into consideration if you have to plan an annual meeting.
Make a detailed checklist of the whole process including events before and after the actual meeting. Set deadlines where needed and give out tasks to your team. Some of the key points may include the following: questionnaires, board meeting schedule for reviews/approvals, determination of the type of meeting, date and location, meeting logistics, required documentation, Q & A, rehearsals etc. The schedule should be modified completely to your company and its calendar. Make the effort to do it perfect the first year, so you already have a draft for the years to come.
It is important that legal and regulatory requirements and other documents related to the meeting are reviewed before the meeting so everything goes smoothly.
This should already be done about six months before the meeting. There are some important things that will help you to decide on this like company tradition, the performance and concerns of the stakeholders. The meetings can be: 1. in person, when everyone needs to be physically present (best for big, established businesses); 2. virtual, when everyone is connected digitally (this one is best for startups); 3. the hybrid version when the shareholders have the choice between the in person and virtual meeting, because both are covered. The hybrid meeting is innovative and it maximizes the shareholder participations.
If the meeting is going to be conducted in person the location plays a huge role. Very small companies can have a meeting in the company’s conference room. On the other hand, if many people will attend the meeting, companies might think about moving it to an auditorium or a hotel meeting room which is often a more convenient place.
Logistics depend a lot on the type of meeting you are going to have. But you should think about the seating, parking arrangements, security (maybe even screening) and the technical part: microphones, projectors and other necessary gadgets.
Date, time and location of the meeting must be sent out to the participants well in advance.
There are a number of required documents you will need for the meeting:
Agenda: usually contains introduction, proposals and Q&As, voting, results, business presentation…
Rules of conduct: so that participants know who is supposed to speak, time limits, prohibited behavior etc.
Meeting scripts: important for the flow of the meeting and to make sure that all points are covered.
Voting procedures depend on the type of shareholders. Registered holders are the ones that vote their shares directly through the company. Beneficial holders hold shares in book entry form through another entity (a bank for example). Beneficial holders have the right to instruct their bank on how to vote their shares or if they want to come themselves to the annual meeting and vote, they request a legal proxy. That will allow them to vote their shares directly.
There are also other things to take into consideration which are crucial when you are preparing an annual meeting, like monitoring the daily vote report, but we won’t go into details here. The only thing you need to keep in mind that you will need a “quorum” for the meeting to be successful. It refers to the number of members of a body or group required to be present in order to transact the business of the body or group.
Ballots help to find out if particular shares can be included in the total. They identify each point to be voted on and ask for the actual vote.
The final preparations include preparing the chairman so he has prepared responses for questions that might pop up. It is wise to also talk to the HR about these matters. Maybe some questions were already asked at some point, maybe at another meeting. It is important to know what is going on in the company and to be good at anticipating. The chairman needs to be self-confident when answering the questions of stakeholders so the best way is just be prepared as much as possible.
We would also like to talk about another very important thing – documenting the meeting. It is of crucial importance that the meeting is documented in a proper manner, i.e. minutes of an annual meetings are indispensable. They play a crucial role for the planning session of the company, so that everyone is on board with the latest decisions. Also, we know that the planning session has to be spot-on if we want the company to succeed and meet its financial targets. So, the question to be asked is what is the most practical way to transcribe those meeting minutes.
The transcripts of minutes are great because they are a simple overview of everything that has been said in the annual meeting and this can be easily passed on to people who couldn’t attend it. If you transcribe the annual meeting the planning sessions will be easier to conduct. This way you already have the aspired goals of the company written down so that the management can easily stay on track as they proceed with their action steps. The content of the transcript can also be very useful for further analysis and conclusions in the future, especially in cases when the expected goals are not hit.
Also, it is important to mention that working with data is sometimes very hard, because errors happened from time to time, and even simple ones can have a big impact on the company. That is why, especially the numbers mentioned in annual meetings should be audio typed and transcribed. This will make it possible for you to review everything that was said as much as you need and moreover, it will be easy to quote any numbers.
When you have to write down notes during an annual meeting you can prepare yourself for a very challenging and important task. Annual meetings can last for a long time. Imagine writing down everything that was said during a four-hour meeting and being responsible for the notes. At some point, errors will arise or crucial parts will be omitted. It is not a secret that we can’t write down things as fast as we speak. Not to mention your handwriting when you have to write down something fast. Will you be able to read what you have written down?
If you decide to record the meeting and to use a transcription service provider to convert the audio type into text format you will get the job done fast and effortless. Gglot can help you to transcribe your annual meeting. You are just a few clicks away from it. You don’t need to install anything before you begin. All you need to do is to log in at our webpage and upload your audio tape. Our website is very user-friendly and intuitive even if you aren’t very technically savvy. Your meeting recording will be converted accurately. Our machine-based transcription service will transcribe your audio file very fast and we will even give you the possibility to edit the transcription before you can download it. Let your employees do the tasks for which they were hired in the first place and leave transcribing to Gglot. You will save your employees time that they can invest in more important tasks.
Annual meetings don’t take place every day. Simply record the meeting and be fully present without taking notes. Let Gglot be your transcription service provider: we will do the transcription more accurately and faster than any corporate secretary.