This document provides a checklist of issues a company should consider when planning
an annual shareholders’ meeting. The planning process for the annual shareholders’
meetings involves much more than merely setting an agenda and choosing speakers; a
flawless presentation is needed maintain current investors and secure new ones. This
checklist provides a strategy to planning an effective annual meeting, so that no
important details will be overlooked, but this form can be customized to fit the unique
needs of any corporation.
Checklist to Consider when Planning an Annual Shareholders Meeting
Section 7.01 of the Model Business Corporation Act provides in part as follows:
“(a) A corporation shall hold a meeting of shareholders annually at a time stated in or
fixed in accordance with the bylaws.
“(b) Annual shareholders’ meetings may be held in or out of this state at the place
stated in or fixed in accordance with the bylaws. If no place is stated in or fixed in
accordance with the bylaws, annual meetings shall be held at the corporation’s principal
The following is a suggested checklist to follow when planning for the Annual Meeting of
1. List every goal that the meeting must accomplish. This list will set the agenda
for the meeting.
2. Choose the main topics to present, along with current and potential issues that
should be communicated.
3. Script every detail of what must occur and when, down to the minute. This will
ensure that all goals are met while maintaining control and preventing the
meeting from running long, which is sure to displease the shareholders.
4. Record all task assignments in a timeline with a check-off format, showing
deadlines and the person responsible for completion.
5. Select the people to make presentations and work with them to outline their
6. Prepare a list of questions likely to be raised and preparing thoroughly
7. Make contingency plans such as what will happen if the person to do a
presentation becomes ill.
8. Prepare a Control Book. A Control Book is the book for all information
regarding the annual meeting and all related events before and after it. It should
contain, at minimum, the date, time, and location of the annual meeting; script;
agenda; all speeches; motions; press releases and other public communications;
proxy arrangements; every arrangement with vendors; contact information for all
participants, planners, and vendors; and task assignments.
9. Create Agenda Books. The agenda books are used by all persons presenting,
making, or seconding motions, or otherwise participating actively in the annual
meeting. Agenda books should contain the agenda and the script, but should
also include individually material such as a text of a speaker’s presentation or
instructions for making motions.
10. Plan the registration procedure so that it will result in good shareholder
relations. Keep shareholder kits for those who arrive without them, and additional
guest information, at the registration tables. Registration recordkeeping should
not be seen as just a legal requirement; it can serve as a marketing tool by
providing information on shareholders and prospective investors.
11. Spare no attention to detail in preparing the meeting room. Ensuring
shareholders' comfort and a good impression is in the company's best interest.
Make certain that all audiovisual equipment, especially the sound system, is
working properly, and that the presenter can be heard and seen well. All display
and other setup should be completed long before shareholders arrive. Catering
and other services should not disrupt the meeting.
12. Rehearse. Presenters should rehearse the annual meeting at least once to
ensure that they understand their role and their timing. Presenters should use a
stopwatch to pace themselves.
13. Create a follow-up list. Every event will require follow-up actions. A detailed
checklist, like an assignment list, will make sure that the actions get done.
14. Prepare an After Action Report. Document good ideas, successes, solutions,
and failures, and discuss them after the event. Prepare a report on lessons
learned for the next annual meeting, with recommendations.