Hosting a Medicare seminar is a perfect opportunity to expand your Medicare business. Seminars allow agents to educate potential clients on different Medicare options. This information you may know well by now, but how do host an actual Medicare seminar? The purpose of this blog is to provide you with instructions and tips on how to host a successful Medicare seminar.
Step 01 – Choose the kind of Medicare seminar you are having
First let’s discuss the various types of Medicare events an agent can host. Keep in mind that each type of event contains different regulations and guidelines.
- Educational Event
An educational event can be advertised in most forms of marketing (Flyers, Direct Mail, Radio, etc.) but must be marketed specifically as “educational.” You won’t be able to market or sell specific plans, or enroll any of the attendees at the event, but you will be able to share informational print materials such as business cards, educational flyers, etc. No sales material. However, you’ll also be able to fill scope of appointment forms for those who are interested.
- Informal Sales Event
These events take place at kiosks, booths, and tables. You’re allowed to offer plan specific information upon request as well as answering educational questions.
- Formal Sales Event
In a formal sales event, you will general be present specific plans or benefits to an audience. The script for this event and any marketing material you provide will be subject to approval to remain compliant.
Step 02 – Familiarize yourself with CMS rules
Below is a quick snippet of the rules laid out by CMS. For a more in-depth view, you can view the current Medicare Communications and Marketing Guidelines.
- 50.1 – Educational Events
Educational events are designed to inform beneficiaries about Medicare Advantage, Prescription Drug, or other Medicare programs.
Must be explicitly advertised as educational.
- May be hosted in a public venue by the Plan/Part D sponsor or an outside entity.
- May include communication activities and distribution of communication materials.
- May answer beneficiary-initiated questions.
- May set up a future marketing appointment and distribute business cards and contact information for beneficiaries to initiate contact (this includes completing and collecting a Scope of Appointment (SOA) form).
- Must not include marketing or sales activities or distribution of marketing materials or enrollment forms.
- May not conduct a marketing/sales event immediately following an educational event in the same general location (e.g., same hotel).
- 50.2 – Marketing/Sales Events
Marketing/Sales Events are designed to steer or attempt to steer potential enrollees, or the retention of current enrollees, toward a plan or limited set of plans.
Plans/Part D sponsors must submit scripts and presentations to CMS prior to use, including those to be used by agents/brokers.
- Sign in sheets must clearly be labeled as optional.
- Health screenings or other activities that may be perceived as, or used for, “cherry picking” are not permitted.
- Plans/Part D sponsors may not require attendees to provide contact information as a prerequisite for attending an event.
- Contact information provided for raffles or drawings may only be used for that purpose.
Step 03 – Deciding the ‘When’ and ‘Where’
When planning a day and time to host your event, keep in mind that a good portion of the individuals attending will not have turned 65 yet and may still be working. While it’s understandable to assume the weekends would then be the best time to host your event, history and experience shows that the middle of the week after general work hours may be the best time. However, do your research and know your audience. The best time and day can vary wildly based on the type of event, venue, and desired attendee.
TIP: Some recommended time include Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, after work hours (6 PM); Also, be aware of holidays.
Step 04 – Contact a venue
Now that you know what you’re presenting, and roughly when, its time to set your plans in stone by contacting your venue. Per the rules laid out for educational events, “[The event] may be hosted in a public venue by the Plan/Part D sponsor or an outside entity.” There are many venue options, including but not limited to, senior centers, libraries, & community centers.
We recommend visiting the venue prior to make sure it meets your needs.
Alternatively, in today’s world where everything is increasingly moving online, it is possible to host your event virtually. However, this comes with its own rules and regulation depending on your carrier and state. Be sure to do your research and maintain compliance every step of the way.
TIP: We provide prewritten letters for contacting various venues to our agents on the A3
Step 05 – Collect together your presentation and print materials
Time to gather all the essentials that you will need to have a successful seminar. For an educational event, it is recommended that you keep your presentation simple and straight to the point. Whether it is a sales or educational event, be sure to have your business cards and contact information readily available, include handouts for everyone with your contact information, and lastly be sure to have generic scope of appointment forms for those who are interested.
TIP: We have a free, generic seminar package that includes a Medicare 101 PowerPoint presentation, Flyers, CMS compliant sign-in form, and more on the A3.
Step 06 – Register your event
Whether you are hosting an educational event or sales event, you can contact your upline agency, FMO, or local carrier representative to find out the specifics regarding your event of interest.
TIP: If you’re one of our agents, we provide a quick event registration form and we will educate you regarding the specifics and/or handle this step on your behalf on the A3.
Step 07 – Promote the event
You are now ready to host the event! It is time to get the word out, but what is the most efficient way to do so? Fillable templates for you to use for the seminar can be easy to find while searching the web (TAIA agents gain instant access to our template library). In addition, printing out copies is easily available if you have a printer or live near a neighborhood library.
Promote and encourage individuals to attend your seminar event on your website or social media account. We recommend promoting your event two weeks prior to the day of the actual event.
If your business is a bit more established and you have a budget for advertising, we highly recommend boosting your social posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. This will not only get your event seen by a wider audience but can be used to provide your page with more likes and follows. In-turn, the more people you have following your page, the more eyes you can get on your posts organically (read: free).
TIP: We provide flyer templates, build and host compliant websites, run promoted ads, and provide social media content all on the A3.
Step 08 – Hold the Seminar
You are prepared, you have your presentation & handouts, you know the guidelines, people are attending, but now what? If perhaps you don’t view yourself as a public speaker, I recommend checking out one of our other articles “How to Quickly Improve Your Medicare Seminars.” It covers the “Four D’s” of public speaking, Dry run, Display, Delivery, Direction. With this bit of knowledge in your toolbelt, you’re sure to improve your leads from your seminars.
Now, do not forget to thank everyone for attending, offer one-on-one appointments (collect SOAs of course), and hand out your business cards to participants.
TIP: Also check out some of our other seminar content such as “Questions to Ask Before You Host a Medicare Sales Event” and “How To Rapidly Build Trust With Clients.”
Step 09 – Don’t forget to hand out your business cards, Fill scope of appointment forms
Your seminar went off without a hitch, people showed interest, important questions were answered, and you’ve proved yourself a reliable and trustworthy source of insurance knowledge. Now, don’t forget to thank everyone for attending, offer one-on-one appointment (With an SOA of course), and hand them your business card on the way out.
Congrats and good luck on making those sales!
If you have any questions or would like to know more about what we offer regarding, presentations, print materials, and marketing, contact us any time.