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How to Organize a Workplace Health Fair

Phase I - Pre-Planning

Pre-planning may be the most important component in planning a health fair. The success of your health fair is largely dependant upon this phase. It is suggested that you begin the following 5 steps at least 3 months prior to your event.

Step 1- Obtain Management Support

Organizing a health fair takes time and may also involve additional expenses. It’s important not only to gain management support and commitment, but to also determine which outcomes senior management would like to see and incorporate those ideas into your goals and objectives.

When working to get management buy-in, it will help to bring on a champion for the event; a senior executive who believes in the importance of workplace health promotion. Together, you and this champion will convey to management the benefits of this health fair.

Benefits of hosting a health fair include:

  • the opportunity to demonstrate your supportive workplace environment
  • conveying to employees that the company values their health and well-being (employees who feel valued tend to be happier, engaged and more productive).
  • possible health issues may be detected at a booth offering free screening
  • the ability to positively influence employee health which can also lead to improved productivity

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Step 2 - Set Goals and Objectives

Identifying goals and objectives will help guide your event planning, promotion, implementation and evaluation. Share your goals and objectives with management and incorporate their suggestions.

Example goals can include:

  • To increase awareness of company’s policies and initiatives around health promotion
  • To increase employee knowledge of EAP services and resources

Example objectives can include:

  • To provide information on a wide array (5-10) of health topics
  • To have 80% of employees attend and participate in the health fair

Step 3 - Create a Planning Committee

Organizing a workplace health fair could be the task of your workplace wellness committee. If you don’t already have one, recruit volunteers from a variety of departments and unions.  Committee members should obtain approval from their manager to sit on the committee.

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Step 4 - Develop a “To-Do” List

Add new responsibilities as they arise and be sure to allow adequate time for each task, keeping in mind that some tasks may need special managerial approval.

Step 5 – Set a Budget

Use your goals and objectives to help set your budget and allocate funds. Remember that a big budget isn’t necessary for a health fair. However, you might want to consider incurring some costs as a way to attract attendance and participation. Incentives can include draws for books, gift certificates or find out if management would be willing to “donate” a vacation day.

Utilizing various departments within your organization, your EAP provider, non-profit agencies and your local public health unit will also help to reduce costs.

Adapted from: Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month website

Next: Phase II - Organizational Scan

[ Back to How to Organize a Workplace Health Fair ]

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Revised: June 09, 2011

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