Seminars, kiosk, and fairs- oh my!
Hosting an event can be one of the most successful ways to market yourself, your services, and your agency. There is no question as to why event activity picks up towards the end of the year before, during, and after the Annual Enrollment Period.
All this extra activity CAN and WILL generate activity, but it generates an equal amount of questions and concerns. Here are a few of the top three frequently asked questions about hosting events:
1. Do I HAVE to Register This Event?: The only question you need to ask yourself to are trying to decide if you need to register you event is, “Will I, in any capacity, be discussing Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plans?” If the answer leans towards “yes”, register. Are you discussing the bells and whistles of a MA Plan like a gym membership? Register. Are you going to be going over how to save money on your prescriptions? Register. Are you doing a Medicare 101 that discusses Part C or D? Register. It does not matter if you are planning on doing a formal (presenter audience) or informal (kiosk or booth) event; the need to register has everything to do with content. So, when can you skip the whole registering process? If you are not discussing Part C or D, or not speaking to beneficiaries, (ex: Medicare and Diabetes, Training for Caregivers, 5 Things Medicare Won’t Cover) you can pass over registering- though you may be missing the opportunities registering your even can bring. Click here for more questions about events compliance.
2. How Do I Register My Event?: There is such a strong aversion to registering events anymore, and it’s understandable why. CMS has created an image of the metaphorical angel of death holding your insurance license, begging you to give them a reason to set it on fire. But rest assured, registering an event is actually a good thing. First, when registering an event you have to involve a carrier. There is absolutely no way to register an event directly with CMS. Each carrier has their own forms and their own processes, which can be found on our 2019 AEP Toolkit. The best advise is to find your local carrier representative and get to know them very well. They are able to register the event on your behalf, giving your less hassle for paperwork, and more time for selling!
3. How Do I get Materials?: This is a question that people sometimes don’t think about until the last minute. “What the heck am I presenting? What am I passing out? What can I have at my booth to both boost my credibility, but also market myself?” This will completely depend on the type of event you are hosting
- Formal Educational: This is a registered event given in the presenter/audience format. At an educational event you cannot discuss specific carriers, or plans, so you are able to use your own material, as long as you are giving compliant information. Consider using something from the Presentation in a Box tool provided by Senior Marketing Specialists.
- Formal Sales: This is also a register event given in the presenter/audience format, but at a sales event the presenter is required to discuss at least one carrier plan. This means that the presentation must be provided by the carrier through which the event was registered. These carrier specific presentations can be found on our 2019 AEP Toolkit or on the carrier agent portals.
- Informal Sales Event: This registered event is what you would see at a kiosk in a business like a pharmacy or at a fair. You are allowed to have plan specific information like brochures and applications, but you are also allowed to have your own marketing materials that promote your agency like flyers, trifold brochures, business cards, etc. Materials that can be personalized to promote your agency can be found on the Agent Marketing Portfolio tool provided by Senior Marketing Specialists.
You may have a million more questions about hosting events, and that’s wonderful! For additional information and resources, please reach out to the professionals at Senior Marketing Specialists by calling us as 1-800-689-2800 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Training and Education