Just as the arrangements for physical meetings can vary based on the needs of the company and their shareholders, there is no “one size fits all” approach to online meetings.

The considerations raised here are therefore intended not to be prescriptive, but instead to prompt discussion on appropriate guidelines.

We recommend the use of video rather than audio-only as best practice for hybrid meetings. For companies conducting hybrid meetings, use of video will better replicate the in-person experience for remote participants.

However, when holding a fully virtual meeting, audio-only mode in conjunction with presentation slides can provide a fantastic user experience and still look professional.

Your Q&A

Question time is an important part of your AGM, which allows your shareholders to engage with the board and hold them accountable.

In accordance with guiding principles provided by ASIC, all shareholders at a hybrid or virtual meeting are to be given an opportunity to participate in the meeting, as if a physical meeting was being held.

While we have seen some instances of companies not allowing questions at their AGMs so far during 2020, the majority of companies are giving their shareholders a voice, either through a meeting app, via teleconferencing, or both.


The best shareholder experience occurs when a company allows its shareholders to ask questions in written format online, as well as the opportunity to verbally ask questions via teleconferencing








We have seen several companies use phone lines to facilitate and encourage shareholder engagement by offering the right of reply, despite the potential drawbacks of teleconferencing when used in conjunction with webcasting.

It is worth noting that shareholder validation is more difficult over the phone line. So, if it is important for your company to know that only shareholders are asking questions, then teleconferencing may not be the right option for you.

To build investor confidence in the question process, an independent moderator such as your company secretary or a legal secretary, can manage questions in accordance with the protocols.

  • Share all questions
    The moderator can use the tools to group similar questions together so that the chairman does not need to answer the same question multiple times. Where the moderator does this, we suggest that the Chairman acknowledge that the one question is from multiple shareholders
  • Commit to responding to all questions
    Where time does not permit a response or acknowledgement of all questions during the meeting, companies should make use of the platform to provide responses online after completion of the meeting
  • Explain any inability to answer
    Companies retain the right to not answer questions that are considered inappropriate based on content. The Chairman could simply acknowledge receipt of the question but indicate that it will not be answered in the AGM as it does not pertain to the items of business, but the company will respond directly to the holder after the meeting
  • Use a poll
    Voting must be conducted by poll for virtual meetings and is also strongly advised for hybrid meetings

How are companies managing Q&A in 2020?

Discover how companies handled Q&A at online meetings during April and May 2020
Learn more