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Planning a Health Fair: Setting Up Committees and Duties

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Planning/Coordinating Committee

Organize a planning committee of six to eight people. Members of this committee will provide leadership and coordination for subcommittees. They can also identify key people for subcommittees.

Try to have a representative from the following groups on the planning committee:

  • Health professionals: physicians, dentists, chiropractors, podiatrists, optometrists, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants
  • Health agencies: hospitals, home health agencies, clinics, nursing homes, retirement centers, emergency medical services
  • Schools
  • Churches
  • Local employers
  • Local media
  • Other members of your target audience

A broad-based community planning committee will provide:

  • widespread support and better attendance;
  • ideas that better meet unique needs of community people;
  • selection of time and place least likely to conflict with other community activities;
  • more people to share the work;
  • more media promotion and attention; and
  • safe, reliable screening practices with referrals and explanations for abnormal results.


  • Identify the target audience – Montana baby boomers.
  • Identify best ways to reach the target audience. Should entertainment and games be a part of the health fair? Should the health fair be only activity oriented? Should screenings and immunizations be offered?
  • Develop a theme, like “Managing Your Health for Life” or “Spring into Health.”
  • Develop a timeline.
  • Create a schedule for the health fair, including opening and closing times, lunch, dinner, etc.
  • Select a date.
  • Identify subcommittees and possible members.
  • Set and manage the budget, considering:
    • Publicity and promotion costs;
    • Equipment and table, chair, audiovisual, etc., rentals;
    • Decorations;
    • Refreshments and lunches for participants, volunteers, and people in booths;
    • Permits and insurance requirements;
    • Printing;
    • Mailing, including promotional and follow-up; and
    • Screening costs.
  • Give subcommittees their allocation.
  • Set policies for budget management and reimbursement of expenses.
    • Identify the person responsible for writing and signing checks.
    • How will deposits for equipment, tables, etc. be handled?
    • How will records of expenditures be maintained?
    • What are the policies regarding handling cash?
    • If there is a petty cash fund, who will maintain and authorize withdrawals?
    • What is the deadline for submission of bills after the fair is done?
  • Identify possible locations for the subcommittee to consider, or make the selection if the site is already known for some reason.
  • Identify potential donors, sponsors, and vendors.
  • Coordinate contact of all donors, sponsors, vendors, and booth participants.
  • Provide oversight and coordination for subcommittees. For example, make sure that booths and services are appropriate for a health fair, and avoid booths by groups that present health messages that are not research-based; also, make sure committees stay within budget.
  • Assist with management of the health fair, and make sure that one or more management people are available the day of the fair to “put out the inevitable fires,” welcome participants, assist with sign in sheets, etc.

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  • Montana State Library
  • P.O. Box 201800, 1515 East 6th Avenue
  • Helena, MT 59620-1800
  • Phone: (406) 444-3115
  • Fax: (406) 444-0266
  • msl.mt.gov