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HomeServe is an emergency home repairs service which acquired online tradesmen review site Checkatrade in November 2017 as it sought to enter the online, on-demand home improvements market. 

Keen to build investor confidence in the long-term prospects of Checkatrade, which has a directory of more than 30,000 tradesmen, and convince them of the outlook for continued growth in its US business, HomeServe held an Investor Day in June 2019.

Rather than taking the easy route, and holding the event in London, HomeServe opted to host its Investor Day in Portsmouth, where Checkatrade is headquartered, to hear directly from those running the business. 

Conscious that, while easy to persuade sell-side analysts to show up, it is trickier to secure portfolio managers, who are the real decision makers, HomeServe opted to dispense with its traditional post-results investor roadshow in May and live webcast to encourage attendance. The day was also combined with an internal senior managers’ event to extract more benefit from the content produced.

Investors are keen to meet those in charge, so the company created an event with four keynote presentations, involving the chief financial officer and the chief executives of HomeServe, Checkatrade and Membership, and eight breakout sessions involving 14 key operational managers dotted around the headquarters. 

As the Checkatrade team had never met investors before, HomeServe’s IR team briefed them carefully, helped with the preparation of materials, created Q&A documents and rehearsed individuals. 

Each keynote presenter also produced a short video summarising their key messages, for use both internally and on social media. In total, 20 video snippets were played over the day, offering investors insights into how HomeServe intends to revolutionise customer service.

While the keynote presentations were held in the auditorium, the breakout sessions were configured around wooden tables, with headsets and videos to make each one interactive. Each session was organised with military precision and ran perfectly to time.

Prior to the Investor Day, HomeServe ran a media campaign focused on new, independent consumer research Home Truths, in which 70 per cent of respondents said that having a well-maintained, comfortable home was important to them. But more than half - 52 per cent - worry that, by trying to fix, improve or maintain something within their home, they will make it worse. The Sun - a key audience for Checkatrade - focused on HomeServe’s plans to become ‘the Uber of homes’. 

More than 50 analysts and advisers attended, as well as investors representing more than 50 per cent of its shareholder base. Of the 15 who completed an online survey, all but one rated the event ‘extremely valuable’ or ‘very valuable’. Post-event updates from analysts recommended HomeServe stock, with Berenberg describing the investor day as ‘a critical event in the company’s equity story... which did not disappoint’. 

The judges felt it had been a ‘brave move’ to host the event in Portsmouth, but that it had paid off with ‘great impact’ and ‘key messages well understood in the [post-event] feedback’.