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Okay, you’ve decided to host an investor day. Great. There might be no better way to make a meaningful impression with investors and analysts, particularly those new to your story, than with a deep dive through your business and long-term strategy. A successful event can illuminate your investment thesis, spotlight key growth drivers, and show off the depth of your leadership team.

Of course, there will be no shortage of items to manage, from invitations and menu selections to content development and speaker training. But there is one threshold question that must be answered before anything else can begin to take shape: when will you host the big day? Whether the event will be your company’s first or an update of a previous investor day, the following checklist will help identify the right date for you.

  1. Company developments: What does your company have in the pipeline? Are there any major product launches in the works? What about leadership changes? Any significant corporate actions? When is your next major strategy session with the board of directors? Any of the above could result in big changes to your IR story, so it is important that the timing of your investor day minimizes the risk of having to pivot your messaging at a later date. Moreover, if you see your investor day as just an extra earnings call, you are not thinking big enough. The old saw of “under promise and over deliver” still applies, but an investor day is an ideal opportunity for a “big reveal” that supports your overarching strategy.
  2. Long-term financial outlook: Are you ready to provide a long-term forecast? Whether you are providing one for the first time or are due for an update, an investor day is an ideal time to discuss your goals and key assumptions. Not only can you walk investors through your corporate strategy and the underlying market dynamics at length, you can have key members of your leadership team share their takes regarding growth opportunities and the competitive landscape. Such “on the ground” perspectives from VPs and department heads are always popular with audiences.
  3. Near-term expectations: What does your near-term performance look like? What growth drivers are in play? No one is expected to have a crystal ball, particularly at a time of macroeconomic uncertainty, but the last thing you want is to enter a downcycle soon after your investor day. Whatever your outlook, you will want to host the event as soon as is practicable after a quarterly earnings call in order to focus the audience’s attention on your long-term plan. If that is not possible, consider issuing preliminary results the morning of the event. This will ensure that your most recent financials are adequately disclosed and will free your team to speak more openly about your results and outlook.
  4. Potential competition: Earnings seasons, major holidays and even school vacation weeks can eliminate big chunks of your IR calendar right from the start. As such, March, May, June, September, November and December are popular months—but everyone in the investor community is in the same boat, so be on the lookout for peer and industry activity that could compete with your event. Check with your sales team; is there a trade show that is considered a “can’t miss” for people in your industry? Touch base with your analysts and top investors; are there important investor conferences that should be on your calendar? If you can’t completely avoid a big event, consider piggybacking one as a way to draw additional attendees. If “everyone” in your industry will be in one place at one time, perhaps you can entice some of them to schedule an extra day.
  5. Venue availability: It is never too early to start planning, especially if you have a particular venue in mind. The major exchanges can offer event space, but availability can be extremely limited, particularly in a hot IPO market. Check with your exchange representative to see what might work for you—but don’t wait to begin checking with major hotels and conference centers as well. Even in the largest cities, the top venues will fill up quickly.
  6. Days of the week and time of day: It might seem obvious, but Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays generally work best. Avoid Mondays, if only to ensure that your dress rehearsal, which should take place the day before, does not fall on a Sunday. Fridays are best avoided as well because, in this era of hybrid work schedules, people are less likely to be in their offices at the end of the week. As for the time of day, mornings are always popular, but midday events can work too, and might appeal to attendees who would prefer to fly in and out the same day.

Ready to get started? The experts at SMA can help make your next investor day the signature event of your IR calendar. The team’s comprehensive and customizable Investor Day Concierge℠ service package provides everything you will need. Sharon Merrill Advisors has nearly four decades of experience in putting together successful investor days through a combination of strategic planning, pre-event perception audits, presentation development, speaker training, and event management. Whether your event will be in-person, virtual, or hybrid, Investor Day Concierge will take the guesswork out of the planning process.

Nicholas P. Manganaro, Esq.

Nick is a seasoned corporate communications professional with expertise in IPO presentation development, roadshow and listing-day support, issues management, internal communications, media engagement, investor days, and investor perception studies. Nick prides himself on his writing and editing abilities and excels in helping clients to distill complex and technical source material to produce clear and compelling communications for targeted audiences.