Health fairs earn goodwill

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

HERMITAGE, Tenn. - Allstar Medical owner Kevin Brown said his medical office building offers a lot to prospective patients--and he wants to make sure they know it.

So he teamed up with the other building occupants--a sleep center, internal medicine doctors and a physical therapy office--to offer a health fair Oct. 22. 

"We want to make sure everyone knows we're here," said Brown. "We've been open two years and we're doing pretty well, but I just want to make sure everyone in the community can find out about us."

The health fair featured free health screenings and chances to win gift cards and an iPad 2--a prize that drew several new faces who could then be introduced to everything the provider offers. 

"Everyone got a benefit out of it," said Brown, who added the exposure was well worth working four hours on a Saturday. He plans to host more fairs in the future.

Other HME providers have also found a health fair can be just the thing to reach out to new customers. Seth Auerbach, owner of Cherry Hill, N.J.-based Komfort & Kare, has hosted a health fair for the past seven years. It has taken on a life of its own, he said. 

"It's become its own branded entity," said Auerbach. 

The Komfort & Kare Annual Health & Wellness Expo is a "one-stop shop" for consumers. 

The results aren't easy to quantify, but the opportunity to promote the business and its products and goodwill from the community justify the endeavor, said Auerbach.

Industry consultant Joe Groden said health fairs give providers a leg up on promoting their name in the community. 

"It's good for visibility," Groden said. "When they need HME, they'll think of you first. It's a big advantage if they know your name."

Groden recommends displaying products a provider thinks will appeal most to the community, and offering a list of all services so the consumer is not overwhelmed. HME