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Safety - Health Fair

Employee health is a critical element of safety in the workplace. Everyone knows that it is important to take care of their health, but many still engage in unhealthy practices due to ignorance or a lack of active involvement in their own wellbeing. Running a health fair is an excellent solution to this problem, providing a platform to educate and engage employees on a variety of safe health practices.

Goal


To run a health fair that teaches employees valuable health and safety information.

What is a Health Fair?
A health fair is an educational and interactive event designed to provide health and wellness information to a group of people. In this case it is specifically aimed at employees in a workplace. The fair involves an array of exhibitors and vendors who are all focused on issues of health, wellness, fitness and other lifestyle improvements, gathered in a communal space. In addition to these displays and presenters, health screening opportunities may be available for interested parties. Some of the options present at health fairs can include health skills training, community resource sharing and health education opportunities. Health fairs can vary in size depending on the organization and team needs but regardless of scale careful preparation is required.

How does a Health Fair improve employee engagement and culture?
Health fairs are typically company-wide events that pull employees from an assortment of teams. As such they’re a great social gathering that allows for staff to intermingle in new combinations, creating a space for networking opportunities and improved engagement across the board. The health fair is also a testament to the organization’s commitment to employee health and safety, ultimately letting staff know that they are valued and appreciated by the company. This is a feeling that will be paid back with workers who return the favour. Lastly, with health education and screening, employee health will be increased, freeing them up from potential productivity dampeners and allowing them to engage more wholeheartedly with their jobs.

What are the benefits?
Improved employee education about health
Large company gathering that promotes relationship building
Provide employees with access to health skills and resources
Health screenings to catch employee issues ahead of time, allowing for preventative measures rather than missed time

How do you conduct a Health Fair in the workplace?
These events require a lot of planning and preparation to run well. Even small health fairs are complex coordinated events that pull together outside and internal resources in a dazzling interweaving of information and displays. Conducting such an event in the workplace requires more than just a simple plan, but instead necessitates early preparation and lots and lots of promotion to draw in the office crowd. Generally, it makes sense to adapt the exhibits to the needs of the organization. The specifics of attendees and exhibits can vary wildly but the overall guidelines remain the same – prepare, promote and execute.

Action


Run A Health Fair

Form a planning committee. The size will depend on the scale of the event, but this committee should be formed anywhere from six to 12 months ahead of time. This group will help with brainstorming and the logistics of the next steps.

Commit to a budget. Decide on a budget for vendor fees, decorations, food services, materials, employee incentives, space costs and other fees. The cost can be lightened with sponsorships that tap into local businesses like banks, pharmacies, medical supply companies and others in this vein.

Decide on what displays and exhibits will be present. This can vary wildly depending on the needs of the organizations. Some examples include safety-focused displays on topics like accident prevention, healthy food caterers, and advertisements of internal resources like EAPs. External resources will likely be pulled in and can include medical screening stations for BMI, cholesterol and other health risks, safety education resources from local government health departments and non-profits, fitness gear vendors, chiropractors, and vitamin and supplement providers. Local fire and police stations and hospitals may have materials or exhibits to contribute. You can also decide if you want to run a raffle, scavenger hunt or some other fun activity.

Decide on a time, date and location. Hosting in a company space can save money, otherwise you can find a private event space, or use local spaces like a park, community centre or library.

Solicit external exhibitors. This is where the planning committee can start contacting sources. Be sure to give them at least a month of advance notice. You should have critical information handy, like the estimated number of attendees, date and time information, sponsorships, and any other compelling elements that you can offer to them resource and partnership wise.

Promote the event. Make use of all social media channels and pre-existing company communications like newsletters. Send out email blasts, calendar reminders and put up posters and messages on intranets if relevant. Don’t forget that word of mouth and in-person invites can also be effective. Give at least four weeks’ time before the event to promote it.

Get volunteers. This can be done in conjunction with the previous step. To run the fair, you will need volunteers who can handle logistics. If feasible incentivize participation with vouchers or gift cards.

Setup the fair. This should be done at least a day in advance of the official start. Depending on where it’s located this might consist of providing tables and electrical outlets/extensions, making sure that Wi-Fi is available throughout the venue, setting up portable restrooms, etc. Make use of your volunteers here.

Run the fair. Be there to greet and direct vendors ahead of time to their spaces. You should also be available throughout the fair to troubleshoot problems, clean things up and coordinate volunteers. For flair try officially launching the event with music playing or thrown confetti.

Clean up the fair. Use your volunteers and planning committee members to tear down and clean up the space.

Incorporate feedback and follow-up. Survey employees and vendors to see what they enjoyed and disliked about the fair for potential future events. Send thank-you messages to vendors and consider sending a list of key health takeaways to employees.

Reference Material
Wellness & Health Fair Planning Guide
Health Fair Ideas for Your Employees

Updated on: 12/24/2020

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