Best Practices in HR

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Robyn Whalen
  January 13, 2020

Want to Host a Health Fair? Here’s How to Do It

A health fair is a great way to kick off your 2020 wellness campaigns.

Health fairs are interactive educational events that offer outreach for wellness and health initiatives. It’s also an opportunity to provide free health screenings and connect individuals to valuable health resources in your community.

Employee health fairs can also introduce your employees to your wellness committee and local resources they may not have heard about before.

Ready to start planning your first health fair?

Check out our health fair ideas and tips on how to make your event memorable and successful:

Why Host a Health Fair?

Health fairs provide health education and preventative medicine awareness in an approachable way. Instead of facing a doctor in a white coat, participants can walk up to vendors and ask questions in a laidback atmosphere. A non-medical setting may also encourage your employees to do screenings they may normally not do, like a blood pressure measurement.

Health fairs generally provide:

  • Health screenings
  • Fitness demonstrations
  • Healthy food samples
  • Educational health content
  • Local health and wellness resources

A health fair is an easy way to encourage participation and raise awareness of your wellness incentives and encourage healthy habits and lifestyles. A health fair may also reduce healthcare costs and employee-related health expenses if your workers make lifestyle changes as a result.

Planning for Your Employee Health Fair

Planning ahead for your health fair ensures you have enough participation from both employees and vendors. Setting some specific goals will keep planning on track, too. Setting up a plan about six months in advance offers an easy way to break down planning tasks in a monthly timeline.

Some questions to think about:

  • What are your specific goals for the event?
  • Do you want to have a theme surrounding the event?
  • How can you measure the success of your health fair?
  • What’s your budget for the event? (Think about food, prizes, etc.)
  • Where will you host the event if all of your employees decide to attend?

Start planning early and schedule marketing efforts. Don’t forget to get buy-in from leadership for the most support and success. Ask leadership to stop by the event, too, if their schedule allows.

How to Promote Your Health Fair

You’ll need to know your audience well in order to snag their attention the best. If most of your team members dislike email, consider showing a spirited promo video created by leadership at your next staff meeting instead. It will capture their attention and be memorable.

A few ways to promote your health fair:

  • Email
  • Fliers
  • Meetings
  • Social media
  • Giveaways leading up to the event

Be sure to let employees know about incentives in advance to get them excited to mark the event on their calendars — like if your team’s favorite local restaurant will be on-site doing cooking demos.

Choose a Theme and Decorate

Perhaps the most exciting part of planning a health fair is deciding on a theme for the event. Select your theme and decorate accordingly. For example, to go along with Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month in February, you could hang paper hearts displayed with heart facts.

Health fair themes:

  • Fancy Fitness
  • Spring into Health
  • Walk into Health
  • Get Happy and Healthy
  • Stay Strong to Live Long
  • Map Out Your Healthy Journey
  • Fall in Love With Your Health

To encourage participation and snag passerby employees on the day of the event, you’ll want the event to be visually appealing and festive. Have your wellness committee greet and invite employees in.

Engagement tip: At the entrance of the fair, consider having healthy snacks and goodie bags ready to pass out.

Work with Awesome Vendors

Vendors can make or break your health fair. Depending on the size of your company and your venue, the opportunities to provide valuable resources are endless. Screen your vendors well and ask them to work with your theme, if possible.

Potential vendors to contact may include:

  • Gyms
  • Juice bars
  • Bike shops
  • Yoga studios
  • Massage schools
  • Health department

The best vendors will have on-site demonstrations and fun activities for your employees to participate in. Once you have your final vendor list, fill in the gaps with activities that aren’t being covered by vendors.

Make it Fun

The more buzz you can generate around your fair, the better. Consider hosting the fair during work hours, and/or mandatory on a casual dress day.

Keep your employees engaged with:

  • Music
  • Door prizes
  • Food samples
  • Contests (Hula hoop, basketball shots for prizes, etc.)

Set-up opportunities for raffles, prizes, and giveaways throughout the event to keep employees lingering and networking with vendors. For downtime, have a photo booth or team-building games for employees who are waiting between activities.

Share Health Fair Results

Review the goal and results with employees after the event. Consider scheduling a separate meeting for leadership to share details of how many vendors and employees showed up.

Share photos and videos on social or at a post-event meeting, especially of workers participating in any wacky contests or challenges. Survey employees to learn what worked and what didn’t so you can plan accordingly for the next event.

Don’t forget to let your vendors know about the successful turnout and highlights, too!

Promotion is Key to Health Fair Success

Enthusiastic employees are a terrific indicator of your health fair going well. You’ll know your health fair was a success if employees are still talking about it weeks later.

Depending on the size of your venue, planning ahead will help you discover any gaps in your event well before the day of the health fair. Pairing planning with promotional strategies will also minimize the risk of your event being a flop.

Well ahead of the event, determine your company’s best promotional opportunities to connect with employees on a personal level for the best turnout. The more they feel it will benefit them, the more likely they are to participate.

Not sure where to start? Check out our free download: All-in-One Guide to Planning and Hosting a Health Fair for Your Employees!

What health fair ideas have worked well for your company? We’d love to hear about them!

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