Can we maximize
our 'Meet, Greet, 'n Eat' events?
Some shareholders come to annual meetings mainly for the free food, and many execs see the 'meet, greet and eat' as a useless and expensive exercise. Let's instead view it as a valuable opportunity to spend with our stakeholders, talk about our common interest in this company, and show the proper regard and appreciation for the real owners of the corporation. And to get a last-minute 'heads-up' on potential issues.
Make these events friendly and informal and relaxing; use them as chances to show your human side (within limits). These are also good opportunities for your directors to meet, mingle, and possibly defuse tensions.
Just remember to deflect (not stifle) serious conflict with a comment like "Thanks for sharing that; while this isn't an appropriate place for a serious discussion of those concerns, can we set up some time to discuss it further soon?" And then try to be the first to address that concern, if appropriate, at the Annual Meeting itself.
contents © Dr. Barbara Strand