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IR Best Practices

Top Tips for Successful Investor-Analyst Roadshows

Investor and analyst roadshows are often expensive in time, money and executive bandwidth. Done well, however, they can also be highly effective in influencing market perception of your company. Here are a few top tips for ensuring roadshow success with Wall Street analysts, the financial community and the media.

Insider Tips:

  • Start your planning efforts eight weeks beforehand, and use a roadshow prep checklist to guide your efforts. You cannot pull a roadshow together at the last minute — it takes time to plan, prepare for and conduct. Eight weeks advance prep allows enough time to review and fine-tune your messaging, delivery and dialog prep.
  • Put together the smoothest, most concise (maximum 15 minute), well-thought-out presentation possible — in plain, simple English. Test it on non-technical, non-financial people: if they understand it, so will the analysts, investors and the media. If you don't have in-house staff who can put together a first-rate presentation or handle all the logistics of a roadshow, hire outside help.
  • Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! Most executives are so tied up in the business that they don't spend the time to perfect and polish their presentation — and when show time comes, they look and feel unprepared. Confidence is 98% of success in making the roadshow work, so spend the time to make sure company executives feel and sound prepared to deliver not just their formal remarks, but in answering the toughest questions likely to be asked.
  • If your company hasn't been public for very long, work closely with legal counsel to brief executives on what they can and can't say. Failure to maintain proper disclosure controls to prevent violation of Regulation Fair Disclosure and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act carry stiff penalties. Educate and train company executives who interact with the investment community to help prevent the release of material information in the first place. Ideally, brief executives on current messages and disclosures before each discussion with the financial community and media.
  • Save your most important presentations for the middle and end of the road show
  • Visual aids are cool. Bring along product samples.
  • Do not perform a data dump on the listener instead of engaging in dialog and relationship building.
  • Study investor presentations from peer companies to see what kinds of information investors want to hear. Managements (especially those new to being public) tend to want to go into more detail than the average investor really wants to know in a one-on-one presentation. Looking at what peers do will help you to shape a presentation that delivers what investors want to hear.
  • Pick the right analysts and media to brief. Too often companies waste precious time briefing analysts or reporters who don't cover their industry.
  • Analysts want proof points and customer testimonials — not just financial information — to validate your company's market position and competitive advantages.
  • Don't assume that just because an institution holds one of your industry peers that they will want to own your company's shares. Consider whether your investment attributes REALLY mirror the companies you consider your peers.
  • After the roadshow, send a handwritten thank-you note to every analyst with whom you met. It's a courtesy analysts appreciate, especially when the note comes from top management.