In an era of digital transformation and remote connectivity, the traditional way of conducting business has significantly changed, with governance meetings, such as Annual General Meetings (AGMs), being no exception with the rise of virtual meetings.

Having emerged as a practical and efficient alternative to in-person gatherings, a virtual format offers a convenient and effective way to execute governance meetings of all sizes. However, to maintain order and ensure a seamless meeting experience for all those involved, the presence of a skilled moderator is indispensable. That said, here's why you should have a moderator at your upcoming virtual AGM.

Maintaining Structure and Keeping on Track

A virtual AGM is a great way to bring together attendees, organizers and other participants without needing to be in one location at a specific time. However, with potentially hundreds or even thousands of participants attending remotely, it becomes essential to maintain a structured and orderly environment throughout the meeting.

A moderator acts as the conductor, setting the meeting tone and pace while ensuring that the agenda is followed. By actively monitoring the meeting's progress and keeping discussions on track, the presence of a moderator helps for a more efficient and productive meeting where all participants have an equal opportunity to contribute.

Time Management

Effective time management is vital to the success of an AGM; especially when held virtually.

Moderators play a crucial role in managing the allocated time for discussions, presentations, and Q&A sessions. They keep track of the agenda, monitor the clock, and ensure that each topic receives appropriate attention. By effectively managing time, a moderator helps maintain a productive flow and prevent long-drawn-out meetings that exceed their scheduled duration.

Facilitating Voting

Voting is one of the most important parts of an AGM. Having a moderator to assist those who run into technical difficulties, facilitate voting procedures, such as distributing electronic ballots and scrutinizing results, and oversee the voting process, helps ensure a smooth voting period and accurate tabulation.

Overseeing Q&A Sessions and Participant Engagement

One of the key aspects of an Annual General Meeting is the opportunity for participants to ask questions, seek clarifications, and engage in meaningful discussions. While a virtual environment can help prevent a small group of individuals from dominating discussions, managing open dialogue or Q&A sessions effectively can be challenging due to the absence of physical cues and limited interaction.

A skilled moderator will facilitate a structured and efficient Q&A session and ensure that all participants have an equal opportunity to express concerns or contribute to discussions, fostering a collaborative and inclusive meeting environment for all participants.

Addressing Technical Issues Quickly

Technology platforms and tools to connect participants, share presentations, and display relevant information are a part of the core foundation of any virtual AGM. However, unexpected technical difficulties are bound to arise from time to time and failing to resolve these issues quickly can be frustrating and jeopardize the success of your meeting.  

Having a moderator with technical expertise to assist in troubleshooting technical issues, such as audio or video problems, screen sharing difficulties, or connectivity disruptions, swiftly helps ensure the uninterrupted flow of your meeting.

The rise of virtual meetings has brought about a paradigm shift in how organizations conduct their Annual General Meetings. While this evolution offers numerous benefits, it also introduces unique challenges that must be effectively managed. Moderators play a critical role in maintaining structure, facilitating engagement, managing technical hurdles, and contribute to the smooth, seamless execution of meetings. And as virtual AGMs become the norm, the role of the moderator will continue to be vital to their success.

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