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Employee Health Fairs: The Pros and Cons

By Hanna Chester
Published November 12, 2014

Employee Health Fairs: The Pros and Cons

Have you ever wanted to have an employee health fair but didn’t know what the benefits or pitfalls would be?

Look no further!

We’re going to take a brief look at the pros and cons of employee health fairs to give you a better look at how it might supplement your program or give you something to strive for in the future.

Let’s Dive Into the Cons First

  1. Planning begins months in advance. Planning a health fair isn’t something that can be successfully done on a whim. We typically begin planning with our clients at least 6 months out from the designated date to be sure that our event will be as effective as possible. Some vendors may have their own timeline in which planning may begin sooner. If you have a certain vendor in mind, check with them to see what kind of lead time they require.
  2. Planning and coordination is very time intensive. When our team plans events for clients we typically dedicate 20 to 40 hours to the event depending on the size of the organization and the activities they would like to offer. Creating promotional materials, vendor coordination, etc. are a few of the items that need to be addressed during the planning process.
  3. You’re never going to please everyone. Resources are limited during a health fair so you will have to choose the best vendors, screenings, giveaways, etc. and a few people may complain about the options you have chosen. Be prepared to explain why you have made your decisions. The next time you plan your event be sure to add different options than the previous year so employees don’t become stale on your offerings.

Saving the Pros for Last

  1. It can be a turning point in an employee’s health. Since being involved in numerous health fairs I have heard many success stories from employees that didn’t even know they had high blood pressure or were pre-diabetic until the event. You could even say, for some people, it is lifesaving. This is a pro that you could never assign a value to.
  2. Healthy and local vendors provide valuable information. People are always looking for that innovative edge on staying healthy and the health fair is the perfect opportunity to provide it. Invite your local gym, doctor, dentist, other healthy living enthusiast, it is a great opportunity for them to market their practice or product and allows your employees to see what is out there.
  3. You’ll receive valuable biometric data in an aggregate report. After the health fair has wrapped up, employers will receive a report that covers the population’s risks provided from the biometric data. Wellness committees can utilize this information to create effective programming that can positively affect the majority of the group. Seeing this information year over year can solidify your wellness efforts and let you know where you need to improve.

In a nut shell, employee health and wellness fairs are a great addition to any wellness program if they are conducted correctly. Building on the events and programs is a way to ensure growth in both areas year over year. Don’t be afraid to get out there and try it this year with your employees, the first step is always the hardest!

Hanna Chester obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of North Florida. She has enjoyed combining both her insurance and wellness background to provide functional programs for Bailey Group clients. Fostering relationships and building employee participation are driving forces behind her dedication.