As a shareholder, you’re invited to an annual shareholders meeting where company executives or management review the company’s financial performance and highlight current business initiatives. In addition, members of the Board of Directors are elected, and other issues that affect corporate governance are decided. Shareholders often are offered the opportunity to ask questions of management during the meeting.
Most shareholders vote in advance of the meeting by proxy. However, you may also choose to vote in person and attend the meeting to cast your vote. Though each company may have slightly different voting procedures depending upon its Articles of Incorporation, you generally vote by filling out a ballot. The polls will remain open for a designated period of time, during which a representative of the company will present an overview of all of the management and shareholder proposals up for a vote. Assuming a quorum is present, and after the polls close, the votes are counted and the results are announced before the meeting adjourns.
If you wish to attend a shareholders meeting, be sure to review your proxy materials carefully to be sure you follow the correct process. The process will depend upon whether you are a registered owner or beneficial owner. An overview of this process is available on the tutorial on this site.