Ideas to Launch a Health and Wellness Fair

pag_02Implementing a health and wellness fair for your company can offer a windfall of benefits for your employees. In addition to increasing employee engagement by involving them in fun-filled activities, such as raffles or contests, it can also ultimately improve their health and outlook. However, it’s not a task that should be approached half-heartedly. Absolute commitment is essential.

The following best practices should help steer you in the right direction when planning a workplace health and wellness fair.

Plan in advance

Do not wait for the last moment. That would be a definite no-no. If you are serious about launching a workplace health fair, start planning six months in advance, advises Corp! Magazine, a Michigan-based publication that targets business owners, executives and management.

“Assemble a planning team for the event,” says the publication. “This might be the human resources department or it can be representatives from various areas within the company. Select a theme for the event and encourage all vendors to support this theme at their table.”

You can also dovetail the event with a particular season. And, if your office is too small to hold a fair on-site, consider having it outside when the weather is warmer.

Actively promote the fair

What good is planning an event like this if attendance is sparse? Ensure a high turnout with word-of-mouth, recommends Health Alliance Plan (HAP).

“Remind people as they go back to their workstations to tell others about the event and encourage them to attend,” notes HAP.

Also, use e-mails and telephone voice mail messages to promote the event. Include an article or a news item about the upcoming fair in a company newsletter. Create flyers for the event and place posters in traditionally high-traffic locales such as the copy room or the break room.

Offer giveaways or cash incentives

This can be an effective way to hike up attendance. Raffling off items, such as cash prizes or discounts at a local gym, could be the ticket needed to draw in the crowd.

“Participation rates increase rapidly depending on the incentive you offer, with an average of 40 percent to 45 percent possible,” according to health insurance plan provider Anthem Health. “A moderate cash incentive of $25 to $75 may bring a 30 percent to 50 percent participation rate, while a significant cash incentive, $100 to $500, may bring as much as 70 percent to 80 percent participation.”

Diversify the vendors

Not everyone has the same health priority. While some may be concerned with losing weight, others might want to focus on how to stop smoking. Keep this in mind when reaching out to vendors. And again, consider the time of year when planning the event.

“If your wellness fair falls during the summer months,” suggests Paycom, an online payroll and human resources technology provider, “consider talking about the importance of sunscreen. When winter rolls back around, offer resources pertaining to flu prevention.”

Secure leadership support

All this planning might come to naught if higher-ups do not approve, warns Corp! Magazine. Before you even get started, make sure you gain the support of management as they could be instrumental in encouraging employees to attend the fair.