Purpose and personality – the new rules for VC events

As we move into preparation mode for this year’s investor meetings and capital market days, here’s what we’ve learnt in a year of helping our clients with their VC events:

  • Succinctness. The expectation is now for shorter, sharper presentations, preferably interspersed with short videos. Presenters can get away with speaking slightly faster via VC – more like 125 words per minute vs. 110 face to face. So you can do a little more in less time.
  • Episodic structure. Each segment/presentation needs to stand on its own feet as well as support the whole. Your audience may not watch your event in one sitting or may pick and choose. That requires a strong overarching sense of purpose and a pithy core message for each segment.
  • Conversational. Presenting style needs to be friendly and natural, not a lecture. Think of the difference between stage and TV and try to speak to the individual. This extends to a greater role for panels and Q&A, which is an opportunity to show that your team trusts and likes each other. A lot of early VC events came off as deathly serious.
  • Show versus tell. It is even more important to use graphics, stories and images to bring your ideas to life on VC. Be willing to address bumps in the road as well as triumphs. 
  • Personality. Snazzy production qualities are far less important than we thought a year ago. So long as you can clearly see and hear presenters, what really counts is creating the feeling you are being given an insider’s view into your company’s unique culture. Overly slick and it can feel fake.