Planning A Community Health Fair
A community health fair has one goal in mind: to improve overall community health and teach about health and welfare. Many people can find healthcare overwhelming simply because they don’t have access to valuable learning sources. A health fair can open this discussion and bring the community together for a healthier future.
However, planning a community health fair can be just as overwhelming. This article is here to teach you how to plan a successful community health fair properly. Don’t panic - it’s easier than you think.
What Stations/Services Should Be Offered
You already know how to plan for a fall festival successfully. Well, a health fair is a bit different. Although a combination of the two is the goal, there should be a focus on health rather than just good times. Below are some of the essential stations and services that should be offered at your health fair.
Not everyone has access to healthcare to get the proper screenings necessary to maintain (or improve) their health. Others simply don’t know which screenings they should be getting regularly. Well, that’s where your health fair comes into play. Here are a few of the best health fair screenings you can provide:
BMI - Checking your BMI is necessary for understanding your fat levels. Excessive fat, especially around the belly region, can be an indicator of diabetes or heart problems.
Blood pressure - You could have high blood pressure and not even know it; until it’s too late. A screening will ensure everyone knows whether they have high blood pressure and risk heart disease or stroke.
Blood sugar - Just as important as blood pressure is blood sugar. Blood sugar that is too high or too low will starve the cells of energy, leading to diabetic coma.
Cholesterol - High cholesterol has been linked to heart attack and stroke, but most don’t know they have high cholesterol until something serious happens. Screening can prevent these events.
Hemoglobin - Lastly, a hemoglobin screening will indicate whether or not an individual has enough oxygen running through their bloodstream. This will reduce the chance of organ failure, brain damage, and even death.
Everyone loves free food samples. While a health fair might not have as exciting food as those provided by cookoffs, it doesn’t mean you can’t show people how to enjoy healthy foods. Now would be a great time to invite local vendors with delicious healthy treats and foods to provide samples.
When it comes to improving health through food, don’t stop at samples. You can also provide health fairgoers with discounts or coupons they can use at the health fair or local health food shops.
You may also want to provide various demos that are food-related. One demo could share how sugary and fatty foods affect the body. Another might share how to properly handle food to avoid bacteria growth which can lead to food poisoning.
There are plenty of ways to stay healthy, such as regular screenings and a healthy diet. But a regular exercise routine shouldn’t be forgotten. Ask a local gym to come to your health fair. Patrons will learn about exercise, and the local gym might get a few new members.
At the health fair, consider doing the following:
Have people sign up for a fitness challenge (with prizes)
Provide safe workout ideas and demonstrations for all types of people
Offer discounts to new gym members
Provide a free exercise class at the health fair - aerobics, yoga, etc.
When it comes to planning a community health fair, always rely on local vendors. Whether you’re putting together high school health fair ideas, a mobile health fair, or a senior health and wellness fair, there are plenty of local resources that offer free help. Here are some of the top choices for local resources and health fairs.
Department of Public Health
The Department of Public Health is almost always a reliable source for health fairs. They can offer various resources to health fair attendees, including maps to safe bike paths within the community, ways to stay active, and top-notch gardening tips to grow healthy foods from home.
Health Insurance Providers
Plenty of people are unaware of their health insurance benefits. Some are unsure they even need health insurance in the first place. By bringing a health insurance provider to your health fair, you can cover one of the most important aspects: why insurance is imperative to overall health.
The health insurance providers can explain:
Potential health benefits based on the type of insurance
Perks for healthy living, such as proper diet and exercise
Reimbursements for “extras” such as gym memberships and self-care
Do you have a local spot that does meditation, massages, or yoga? Now would be a great time to invite them to your health fair. Keep in mind that health goes beyond physical health. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Less stress, anxiety, and depression can have a significant improvement on overall health.
It’s no secret that smoking is bad for you. Most people - even smokers - are well aware of the negative impact. Unfortunately, a lot of smokers simply don’t know how to quit. It is incredibly hard. But providing the right tools at your health fair can encourage people to quit their bad habits finally.
American Cancer Society
Learning about the symptoms of cancer and how to get treatment is key to survival. That is why it is one of the best health fair ideas to bring the American Cancer Society in. They will be able to provide important cancer treatment information as well as new research data and support.
American Red Cross
When discussing health, the issue of not having enough blood is often brought up. Blood donations are critical to the health of many individuals on a day-to-day basis. By bringing the American Red Cross to your health fair, patrons will have the opportunity to give blood and achieve their CPR certification (if desired).
How to Invite Local Vendors
Vendors are key to the overall success of your health fair. So, when planning a community health fair, don’t forget to invite them. Invitations should be sent out no later than 60 days before the event, although 90 days is ideal. You can invite vendors via email or phone (or both). Make sure the vendors have all of the information about your health fair, such as:
Name of the event
The goal of your health & wellness fair (pictures of health fairs similar to what you want can help)
Date and time
Number of people expected to arrive
Contact information (your name, phone number, email, etc.)
Extra Tips for Successfully Hosting a Health Fair
While the health fair should be geared towards learning, you also have to make it fun. That said, consider providing freebies, giveaways, raffles, and workshops. Some of the best ideas include:
Free checkups from doctors, dentists, massage therapists
Giveaway for a brand new bike
Free month of personal training at the local gym
Goodie bags with freebies such as healthy food samples, coupons, etc
Deep breathing or meditation workshops
How to repair a broken bike workshop
The possibilities are truly endless. Ask local vendors to participate if you don’t have the funds to set up freebies or giveaways. By doing so, you will increase the number of patrons visiting the health fair.
How to Advertise the Community Health Fair
When you’re planning your health fair, don’t forget to advertise. If you don’t advertise, people simply won’t show up. But how can you advertise for your health fair?
Place an ad in the local newspaper
Advertise on billboards
Hand out flyers
Send out an email
Use social marketing tools like Facebook or Instagram
Remember that most people will use social media and search “health fair events near me” if they’re interested. Also, if you are planning a community health fair with health fair topics for students, make sure parents and grandparents are aware using newsletters and emails. (Make sure to include some health fair ideas for kids, too).
Getting Volunteers for the Community Health Fair
You can’t do it all on your own; you’re going to need volunteers. The good news is that plenty of people are willing to volunteer for things such as this. You can place an ad on social media to see who signs up. Ask employees and parents of the local school if they are willing to put their time in, too.
Porta Potty Needs for Your Community Health Fair
One critical part of your health fair that you should not forget is access to restrooms, especially if you are holding your event outdoors. The best solution is to set up accessible porta potties for your event patrons.
The good news is, the average porta potty rental cost per day is fairly cheap. You can rent a high-quality porta potty for as little as $150 (more or less). The cost will depend on the type of porta potty you’re using and the size (a small porta-potty will be less expensive than a larger model, for example). You might also consider renting at least one ADA-approved porta potty for patrons in wheelchairs.
Aside from renting the porta-potty, you might also consider renting wash stations and hand sanitizer stations. After all, you’re hosting a health fair, so encouraging proper handwashing and sanitization is a great idea. Make a demonstration out of it!
The easiest way to find a good rental service is to simply search port o potty rental near me and get quotes for a mobile toilet rental. Most of the time, companies will provide a wide range of options plus sanitizing stations for rent.
By now, you’re an expert at planning a community health fair. But if you still have a few pondering questions about planning a community health fair, check out these frequently asked questions below.
How do you plan a community health event?
The best thing to do is to develop a theme for your event and go from there. Decide which aspects of health you would like to focus on. Then, get local vendors involved. Invite them to your event, get volunteers and advertise, and start helping the community.
What does a health fair consist of?
A health fair will have various health-related exhibits, workshops, vendors, etc. These are all geared towards improving the health of the community while educating patrons about health.
How do you organize a virtual health fair?
Organizing a virtual health fair is somewhat similar to organizing an in-person one. The biggest difference is that you will have to set up a schedule for the vendors, workshops, etc.
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