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Why make employee benefits fairs fun?

When considering things you can do to keep your employees engaged why not consider an employee benefits fair?

If you are already doing them, great! But do you ever question whether it is worth all the trouble or wonder how you can make them better? Well, there are many things to consider, all of which can lead to making it an engagement event.

Boost Morale and Show Value.

First of all, if you are not already offering this added benefit it is a very good idea. Not just as a morale booster but as a way of reinforcing your benefits package too. And don’t forget to send out a message once a year as to the real monetary value of your benefits package in addition to the benefits fair.

Many benefits providers will gladly attend your fair to explain their benefit to your employees so they fully understand how their particular benefit is of value to your workforce. Just make sure you give them enough advance notice. They may be stretched real thin that particular time of year when every client of theirs is preparing for annual enrollment.

Make it a Fun Event.

Once you get all your providers lined up early for a real big event consider creating a theme for your event. I’ve attended hundreds of events like this put on by different employers and they can be a blast. Make it fun and exciting. Get your entire staff involved and remind them of how important it is to employee engagement. Give them each a role in the production so they know exactly what is expected of them. Have regular planning meetings to see how it is progressing and keep everyone on track.

Don’t forget to invite other vendors that can complement your fair and offer a benefit to your employees. You might be surprised how many different options there are. Consider credit unions, banks, chiropractors, eye glass vendors, financial planners or supplemental insurance carriers. Even local retailers like Costco are usually willing to attend these events and bring food, special offers, promotional items, etc. for the chance to market themselves to your employees.

Bend the Rules to Show You Care.

Many companies have a no solicitation policy, which is understandable during the standard workday, but make an exception and make this day special. Just like any other business person you can probably find a massage therapist who is willing to provide free massages for an hour or two in exchange for handing out their business card.

Lastly, top it all off with a raffle for some really super prizes. Make it a requirement for the vendors that want access to your employees for that hour or two. Your providers will have no problem providing a real nice incentive for their good client to throw into the raffle. And don’t forget to market your event to your employees. If you require your vendors to identify their raffle items in advance you can promote what employees can win if they attend.

Be Creative or Get the Marketing Department Involved.

Create a raffle ticket with a checklist of all your preferred providers that you want your employees to visit with. They can initial it or stamp it to show that the employee stopped at their table. Turning that checklist in can be a requirement for being entered in the raffle. If you’ve been creative enough maybe you can have a grand prize from a cruise line, travel agent or a local amusement park. Don’t rule anything out.

Oh, one other thing to consider…make the event convenient for everyone. There is no better way to ruin your event turn-out than to hold it before or after work. Make sure your workers aren’t bogged down with finishing a project or meeting a deadline. You’ll have to get managements buy-in for this not to happen. Send the message that your employees are important enough to have an un-interrupted hour or two (stagger attendees if necessary) to speak with benefits providers. They will appreciate you for it.

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