What is an annual meeting?

Read Time: 4 minutes

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Doodle Content Team

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

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An annual meeting is a gathering of the shareholders of a company once a year to discuss financial performance, elect directors and approve important corporate decisions.

It’s often the case that certain things have to be done by law these can include:

Elect the board of directors.

Approve the company's financial statements.

Receive reports from the board of directors and management.

Approve important corporate decisions, such as mergers and acquisitions.

Answer shareholder questions.

If films are to be believed, we think of these meetings as huge gatherings of hundreds if not thousands of people. That can sometimes be the case, but even small companies with shareholders need to hold these meetings once a year. 

Although these meetings will often happen in a physical place, nowadays it’s not uncommon for them to be hybrid - with shareholders unable to be there in person “dialing in” using video conferencing. 

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What happens at an annual meeting?

The annual meeting typically begins with the chairman of the board calling the meeting to order. The chairman then introduces the officers of the company and the board of directors.

Next, is the election of the board of directors. The shareholders vote for a slate of directors to serve on the board. Sometimes the election can happen before the meeting; in this case, the results will be announced. 

After this, the chairman presents the company's financial statements. These are reviewed by the auditors and then approved by the board.

Next up is the receipt of reports from directors and management. The board of directors reports on its activities over the past year. Management reports on the company's operations and financial performance.

Throughout these steps, it’s not uncommon for questions to come from shareholders. They may want to know more details about a particular topic. Board members and management need to be prepared to answer these. It’s a good idea for them to have a prep call beforehand. 

The final order of business is the approval of important corporate decisions, for instance, the approval of a merger or sale of part of the business. The shareholders vote on these decisions.

Scheduling annual meetings

Annual meetings aren’t easy to arrange. This is where Doodle comes in. 

Whether you are trying to gather a few dozen shareholders or thousands, Group Poll makes it easy. Simply select a number of different time options and send them to your participants. They select the ones that work best for them and your meeting time becomes clear. 

Doodle Professional also lets you add your favorite video conferencing tool to allow virtual participants, remove ads and add branding to get a sleek look that represents your company. Plus, if your shareholders connect their calendars the event will be added automatically so there’s no chance they’ll get double-booked. 

Doodle makes it easy for you to organize your annual meeting in minutes without rounds of email back and forth. Try it for free today.

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