As an independent pharmacy owner, you are a pillar of the community, a place that people rely on for their healthcare needs and advice. An effective way to promote better health, as well as, your pharmacy, is to organize a community health fair at your store. Not only will you draw in brand new customers who might not be familiar with your store, you will also position yourself as a credible source of healthcare information. Health fairs have become increasingly popular because they help address preventable health issues that consumers can easily address themselves like healthy weight, blood pressure and cholesterol readings. Many of these factors can contribute to diseases like cancer and heart disease and can easily be screened for at your health fair event.
Here are some tips and suggestions for organizing your own successful health fair:
Planning and Organization
Health fairs are just what they sound like—exhibits, workshops, demonstrations, screenings and expert advice in one place for your customers to access. Depending on your budget and available resources, you may decide to host a small event, or go with something bigger.
Begin planning at least three months before the scheduled date of the fair. You’ll need time to locate volunteers from local health agencies such as hospitals, specialty doctors (optometrists, ENT groups, pediatrics, and chiropractors), the Red Cross, and other health care providers. It may work best to plan a weekend event when these professionals are more likely to be available and when the public is looking for activities to do with their families. You will also need ample time to promote your health fair. Printed flyers, Facebook posts, advertisements, press releases and word-of-mouth promotion will be helpful to promote the event in advance of the scheduled date.
Another important part of the planning process is making sure you have the proper permits and insurance coverage required by your city. Reach out to the local city government and apply for the correct event permit.
Activities, Booths, Exhibits
Deciding what activities, booths, and exhibits you want to be featured is a big part of the health fair planning process. Which health benefits do you think people in your community will respond to most? You’ll have the opportunity to run health screenings, offers advice, and gives away samples. Here is a list of the most commonly seen booths and vendors at health fairs:
- Blood Pressure Screenings
- Tobacco Use Prevention
- CPR & First Aid Demonstrations by EMTsand/or with ambulance tours
- Back Health hosted by a local chiropractor
- Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety
- Dental Care hosted by local dentist or dental hygienist
- Cholesterol Screenings
- Animal Danger Awareness hosted by Poison Control
- Skin Cancer Prevention hosted by dermatologist
With health workshops and seminars increasingly gaining popularity all over the country, consider inviting live speakers who will provide useful information on topics such as:
- Shopping and diet tips
- Exercise benefits
- Healthy cooking
- Alternative medicine
A lot goes into planning a health fair and you may want to consider delegating responsibilities to your team. You will need an organized point person to handle all the details and follow-up items. This person can handle all of the vendor communication, permits, and insurance while you focus on running your business.
Hosting a health fair can also be a great way for your pharmacy to raise money for a local charity. Cross-promoting with a cancer research organization or cardiovascular health clinic can boost your event’s promotional value.
Health fairs offer the opportunity to celebrate health through the use of interactive exhibits, screenings, and expert speakers. Not only will hosting such an event provide a useful service in your community, r it will also position your pharmacy as a leader in healthcare. For additional resources to help you implement your own health fair, download this free ebook – The Pharmacy Owner’s Guide to Exceptionally Effective Implementation.