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P&V Enterprises Offers Hybrid Meeting Solutions for Firms Affected by NYC Controller Virtual-Meeting Ban

NYC Comptroller to require companies of Retirement System Pension Funds governance committee to conduct live and hybrid stockholder meetings

 New York, NY – April 14, 2017 — The recent proposal by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, requiring trustees of the five New York City Retirement System pension funds to vote against governance committee members whose companies hold “virtual-only” shareholder meetings, may have repercussions for firms in which the pension funds hold stock.

An article in the April 3, 2017 issue of Pension & Investments states that Comptroller Stringer objects to the fact that virtual-only meetings—conducted solely by remote communications such as online access—create barriers by filtering exchanges and “cherry picking” the shareholders who are allowed to ask questions.

According to Michael Garland, NYC assistant comptroller for corporate governance, virtual-only meetings “prevent shareholder proposal proponents from presenting resolutions directly to boards and senior management,” adding that it’s important for shareholders and corporate executives to “interact face-to-face” in a live meeting.

Mr. Stringer’s office will be sending letters to S&P 500 corporations, such as Duke Energy, Ford, Intel, and ConocoPhillips, asking them to stop using virtual-only meetings and return to live or hybrid meetings. This requirement will be expanded to all shareholder companies by next year’s annual meeting.

The virtual-meeting only ban is a welcome opportunity for P&V Enterprises, who specialize in conducting both virtual-only and hybrid meetings that combine a “live” in-person event with a “virtual” online component. The NYC-based, husband-and-wife firm has over 55 years’ experience in theatrical staging, technology, and multi-media production, and have operated a subsidiary PNVWebcasts for the past seven years.

According to P&V partner and executive producer Vince Ahaesy, “A virtual meeting is where the entire audience is viewing or listening online only and not present at the meeting venue. A hybrid meeting combines both a live audience and an audience listening and/or viewing the event over the internet. A hybrid meeting can be simultaneously broadcast to online participants and incorporate text messaging from the internet audience and up to 8 live speakers from most parts of the world.”

Ahaesy explains that a virtual-only meeting can incorporate live participation from the audience, too. “It’s a question of management and the priorities of the client holding the meeting. Of course, it’s more difficult to avoid questions and comments when there are live people in the room than it is to ignore remote viewers, but good results are possible with virtual-only meetings when they are managed and produced properly. The communication can be two-way and relevant.”

Pat Ahaesy, P&V president and partner, concurs. “Hybrid meetings, which combine a live audience with a virtual audience from anywhere in the world, do offer a more interesting and fun experience for all concerned. The two-way component is the key to a productive and informative meeting, no matter which way you do it. This can be achieved by using text, tweets, and any social media platform, as well as live through return audio or audio/video played in the meeting room, as well as to all internet attendees.

Text seems to be the most accepted means of return comments and questions, enabling participation to the the entire web audience.

“In our experience, it’s best when the audio or audio/video is kept to about 6 to 8 participants,” says Vince Ahaesy, “usually major participants or speakers who couldn’t make it to the live event. If you expand that to include all audience participation, it feels like you’re herding cats and it can become a fail point. Text seems to be used most often as it’s usually the most practical method for return comments and questions, giving the entire web audience participation. More people will be comfortable using this than other methods.”

The participation level between the virtual audience and the live event is a function of the client and the producer. There must be someone from the client in the control room to decide who speaks and when, just like a moderator on the stage for the live event.

As it is not always possible to get to everyone who wants to be heard, the discussion can go on after the event as a text-messaging or live-chat follow up, or a continuation of the webcast at an agreed-upon time.

To learn more, contact Pat Ahaesy, P&V Enterprises, at (212) 534-3052 or pahaesy@pnventerprises.com.


About P&V Enterprises
Founded in 1994, P&V Enterprises creatively leverage technology for seamless and successful events. They provide a full spectrum of webcasting, event planning, production, webinars, online event registration, and management services for a wide range of clients. President Pat Ahaesy, CMP, CSEP and Executive Producer Vincent Ahaesy have a combined 55+ years of experience in event production and lead a team of talented professionals and strategic partners who share their passion for creating memorable events that are seamlessly-executed, within budget, and as stress-free as possible. The company also provides event management assistance through its two subsidiaries: PNVWebcasts for live and on-demand webcasting solutions, and PNV Registration for online and on-site event registration.

P&V Enterprises is a Certified Woman-Owned Business. For more information, visit www.pnventerprises.com

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