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Like rock shows for startups, companies that go public typically gin up interest with an extended cross-country tour for potential investors.

These initial public offering road shows are marketing events—a nearly two-week slog from city to city for senior executives to gauge demand and ultimately sell their securities. They are a “lengthy, expensive boondoggle,” wrote Carl Chiou, of the investment firm William Blair, with details that vary “depending mostly on how bad the traffic is and the time of the flight to the next city.”

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