You can modify the fair to fit your organization’s needs. For instance, you could invite speakers to give presentations, on the hour, on topics related to wellness. You could have more than one organization representing a topic at the fair. You could form a wellness task force comprised of people to help plan and run the fair. You could charge a fee. You could send out evaluation forms afterward to all attendees, or you could hold other “speciality topic fairs” such as a parenting fair or a sports and recreation fair.

We just held our first sports and recreation fair last May in honor of National Employee Health and Fitness Day. We had just as much interest in this fair as we did our wellness fairs. We now plan to hold a sports and recreation fair every spring and a wellness fair every fall for our employees.

Timeline

Here is a general timeline you can use to organize a fair for your employees:

Three months prior. Gain approval from management, and either form a committee or decide the details on your own. Decide your budget, where to hold the fair, whether attendees will be charged, who will be invited, when to have the fair, and whether to have exhibitors, speakers or both.

Two months prior. Brainstorm a list of possible exhibitors and call them to determine interest. Send information letters after getting a commitment. Order any prizes to be given away.

One month prior. Start promoting the fair. Be creative. Keep calling community organizations until you obtain enough commitments. Ask your legal department if the attendees need to sign waivers for the screenings (e.g., cholesterol testing).

Two weeks prior. Send out maps and follow-up letters to committed exhibitors. Send names of exhibitors to graphics department to make signs. Continue promoting the fair.

One week prior. Give room set-up to corporate services. Contact cafeteria to serve food and refreshments. Contact security with names of exhibitors. Make sure you have everything you need (decorations, prizes, signs, enough tables, etc.). Keep promoting.

Day before. Call exhibitors to remind them about tomorrow’s fair. Remind cafeteria, security and corporate services about the fair. If space is available, decorate.

Day of the fair. Decorate if you haven’t already. Make sure all tables, chairs, VCRs, etc., are set up in the proper places. Put signs over each exhibitor’s table and give directions to bathrooms, phones, etc. Assist exhibitors with seating and be available for questions. Promote the fair to passer-by employees.

After the fair. Send thank you letters to fair exhibitors and all the people who helped with the event. Have extra information available for employees who missed the fair.