Hybrid Meeting

Companies in the fast world of digitization are increasingly looking at innovative solutions to connect with stakeholders. One such development is the Hybrid Annual General Meeting (AGM) or an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), blending the physical traditional format with modern digital platforms. The dual mode facilitates shareholders in physically being part of the AGM/EGM while also being able to attend it online. Here we are going to learn about the definition of hybrid meeting, its key features, and benefits.

What is Hybrid Meeting?

A Hybrid meeting is a combination of a physical shareholder forum and an online platform. Shareholders can either attend the meeting physically or participate in the meeting electronically from any geographical location. This results in a “win-win” situation. These days, this can work in favor of those shareholders not moving to another city due to any restrictions or personal reasons.

Key Features of Hybrid Meeting

An Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting will be conducted in a hybrid format by making sure the following features are included:

1. Notification and Accessibility: The company is bound to provide the physical venue of the meeting with a web link to enable shareholders to vote electronically or even follow the business of the day at the meeting. This is also sent out to the commission and stock exchanges, which are relevant, ensuring transparency and accessibility.

2. Versatile Voting Systems: Shareholders can vote on the agenda of their choice in person within the venue of the AGM or electronically via an online platform. The system supports pre-registration for attendance, casting votes, and maintaining a log register, facilitating smooth and efficient participation.

3. Seamless E-voting: Online or e-voting shall be open at least 24 hours to 72 hours before the commencement of the meeting and will close on commencement of the meeting. Through this time frame, shareholders are exposed to a greater window within which they can vote irrespective of where their locations are.

4. Stock Exchange Oversight: At least two senior officials from the stock exchange are constituted to ensure that the process of election is integral. This independent observation maintains the credibility and fairness of the meeting.

5. Authenticated Voting Results: The voting process and results are authenticated by the stock exchange and an independent scrutinizer appointed by the company. An authentication report is then submitted to the commission within 48 hours of the meeting’s conclusion, ensuring prompt and accurate reporting.

6. Presence of Top Officials Physically: – The Chairman, Managing Director (MD)/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and Company Secretary shall be physically present at the Meeting Venue in a bid to ensure physical Leadership even in a hybrid format.

7. Live Streaming: Companies are encouraged to provide live streaming or webcast of the meeting proceedings. This one-way livestream allows shareholders to follow the meeting in actual time, thus improving transparency and engagement.

Benefits of Hybrid AGM/EGM

Let’s delve into the benefits derived from implementing a hybrid model for AGM/EGM meetings.

Increased Participation: This hybrid type of meeting eliminates geographic barriers, allowing those shareholders to participate who would have needed to travel, regardless of whether they attend in person or through their electronic devices.

More Convenient: The shareholders are given a choice on how best to suit their circumstances to ensure they participate in the meeting without necessarily traveling or wasting time away from other commitments.

More Transparency: The use of the digital platform makes sure that all shareholders, no matter where they are, have similar information and view the events occurring at that precise moment.

Cost-Effective: Hybrid meetings can save huge costs on physical gatherings by reducing expenditures on the hiring of venues, travel, and accommodation for shareholders or company officials.

Future-Proofing: Adopting a hybrid model prepares companies for unforeseen circumstances that may impact physical gatherings, such as pandemics or natural disasters, ensuring business continuity and stakeholder engagement.

Final Thoughts

Hybrid AGM/EGM meetings represent a landmark in the world of corporate governance as they blend the elements of both worlds: physical, in-person meetings, and contemporary digital connectivity. Hybrid meetings will significantly be the norm for forward-looking companies, offering flexibility to enrich participation and ensure transparency. During times when businesses adapt according to the changing landscape, the importance of adherence to such innovative steps will become crucial to maintaining effective and beneficial relationships with stakeholders.

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