Work the floor. Get your corporate communications team out there. Have them talk to the shareholders - and not just 'hello' and 'goodbye'. You won't get a better opportunity to find out what they're thinking.
Include the newbies. Send a special reminder out to anyone who has become a shareholder in the past year. And make a point of talking to them.
Rethink the agenda. It doesn't have to be the same every year. Give your audience reasons to stay awake. It needn't be the CEO who gives the keynote presentation. Had a year of mergers? Get the M&A director on stage.
Use your board. You don't pay your non-execs all that money just to rock up to five or six meetings a year. Send them out to meet the shareholders - and not just the key ones - during the AGM.
Get the branding right. Too much, and they'll worry that you're wasting their money. Too little, and, again, they'll worry that you're wasting their money. It's all about keeping them confident in the brand.
Enjoy it. Don't leave your shareholders feeling that you held the AGM under duress. Make them feel that you wanted to share the company's success with them. She might look like some sweet old lady, but you couldn't have done it without her money.