What key factors all great employee benefit fairs have in common, including choosing an appropriate venue and selecting a good date and time
Step 1: Choosing an Appropriate Venue For The Benefit Fair
At that time of the year when the open enrolment process is approaching and employees need to be made aware of the choices that are available to them, a benefit fair is a great way to socialize the information. The benefits fair coordinator need to start by choosing a suitable date and venue. The venue needs to be somewhere that is centrally located in the organization, easily accessible and big enough to hold all the vendors as well as all the employees. A small conference room at the back of an office is the very worst choice of venue, as it sets a bad tone. Splitting up the vendors into numerous small side rooms will definitely not have the desired outcome for either the employee or the vendor, as this divides any momentum and unity of the fair. The ideal venue will be a large conference room somewhere near the reception or entrance of the building. This way even those employees who were not aware of the event will see it taking place and still go in. In smaller office spaces where conference rooms are unavailable, the office lobby or entrance to the canteen can work as good venues. These are both areas of good foot traffic and again the sight of all the vendors will make employees inquisitive and encourage them to ask questions about what is going on, leading to their inclusion into the event. Making good footfall is what it is all about, because without employees attending, this event will fail.
Step 2: Schedule a Good Date and Time For The Benefit Fair
This may seem like an obvious thing to say, but it is very important to consider what is going on in and around the company before a date is chosen to invite employees to come and find out about benefits. This will significantly test the person who is planning the event as they need to fully aware of what else is going on in the organization. Choosing a Friday afternoon, especially before a holiday would be a very obvious poor choice. Most employees either leave early or take the full day off before a holiday to make the most of the time off. If the employees are not even in the office, they definitely will not be showing up for an event. Likewise, the first day back after a holiday would also be a bad choice. People do not want to leave their desk to go chat to anyone when they have an inbox full of emails to deal with. Another thing to consider when choosing a date for an employee benefits fair is to take into consideration any big meetings that may involve large numbers of employees.
Step 3: How to Market the Event to Internal Employees
Employees must come to the event for it to be successful. They will only come if they are informed about the benefit fair time and location and there must also be a call to action.Marketing the event will need more than just posting one flyer in a communal area. Emails need to be sent out and reminders running up to the event also need to be sent to all employees. Posters and flyers will also help, but cannot be the only method. Basically the employee needs to be bombarded with reminders so that they do not forget about the event and they must be given a good reason why they need to attend. Some great motivators for employees include things like:
- Free lunch!
- Problems with your health coverage - meet the rep!
- Win raffles prizes and giveaways by attending the booths
- Special discounts and memberships
- Get your employee discount cell phone plan from Verizon or At&T
Step 4: Inviting a Good List Of Vendors to the Event
Good vendors need to be invited to make sure employees are happy. The variety of employee benefits will make the benefits fair more of a successful event and deliver on employee expectations. Freebies and giveaways are a huge motivator, as is a free lunch. Although most of the vendors will bring certain items to encourage employees to visit the various tables, employees love getting free stuff. Providing a lunch or food voucher is one of the main ways to encourage employees to leave their desks and actually make the effort to come and talk to the vendors, but when they are there they should be suitably impressed because they will not come the following year if they experience a sub-par event.