How to Execute a Successful Legislative Reception What is a legislative reception? Legislative receptions are events that bring together medical group practice executives and state lawmakers in a relaxed and social environment to discuss health policy issues and help cultivate long-term relationships. What are some ways state MGMAs can promote state legislator attendance? Gather contact information from the state legislature website and send a “save the date” email a few months ahead of the event. Then follow up with an invitation that includes more event details. Try to build a rapport with lawmakers’ offices prior to the event through phone calls, emails, or in-person meetings. Personalize your invitations with the names of specific legislators, particularly for those with whom you’ve cultivated a personal relationship. Keep track of RSVPs in a master spreadsheet and, about a week prior to the event, consider sending a second invitation to offices that have not yet replied. Either on the morning of the event or one day prior, place a reception flyer on the chair of each lawmaker as a friendly reminder. If your state legislature maintains an events or social calendar, submit the legislative reception information to be included. Following the reception, send a personal thank you note to the lawmaker and staff for taking time out of their busy schedules to attend. Offer yourself as a resource on any of the issues or bills that were discussed. How can state MGMAs encourage members to attend? Advertise the legislative reception in member communications and make an announcement during in-person events. Try to keep the cost of attendance for members low. Promote the benefits of developing a relationship with lawmakers, including advocating on behalf of their practice and medical groups more broadly. Try to dovetail the reception with a nearby and related state MGMA event, such as a legislative conference or briefing. What are some ideas for facilitating discussion among attendees? Provide all practice administrators, lawmakers and staff with name badges. As lawmakers arrive, pause to introduce them to the attendees. In lieu of a designated speaker, consider providing interested lawmakers with “open mic” time to discuss their priorities and bills they’re currently drafting. What are a few of the key event-planning details to keep in mind? Date – Aim to choose a date during the first or second week of the legislative session, when members of the state legislature are initially working on bills. Time – The best time for a reception is immediately preceding or following the business day, around 7 am or 4 pm. Location – Ideally, you want to host the reception at a facility that is within walking distance of the state Capitol to eliminate travel hurdles for lawmakers and their staff. Be sure to make a reservation at your top venue as early as practicable. Menu – Consider serving drinks and appetizers, as opposed to a sit-down breakfast or dinner, to encourage mingling and conversation. Sponsors – Sponsorships are a great way to defray some of the costs of the event. Partnerships – Consider partnering with a closely-aligned organization to generate higher attendance and to split the costs.