What to Have for a "Health Fair" When I Don't SELL Anything?

Updated on March 12, 2017
P.G. asks from San Antonio, TX
17 answers

I was invited to have a table at a local neighborhood health fair because of the autism education site I have. I don't sell anything. I just do my best to share info from autistic bloggers, activists, etc.

I'm thinking of bringing my fave books to display (not for sale), and making up flyers of favorite books, favorite blogs, favorite autism friendly businesses, etc.
I do have business cards for my website.

Does anyone have ideas on what might be useful to attendees?

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answers from Chicago on

I have been to health fairs that have tables setup for information. There are usually some types of print outs giving info on the issue, information about websites, what to look for, relating to others dealing with it. Any of these would be great to have.
Once there was a table about autism and the woman had bracelets with "autism speaks" on it. I think she had gotten them from a non-profit that works with autistic kids. You could contact them and see if maybe they have pamphlets you could share.

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answers from Columbus on

I was at a health fair recently, and what caught my attention and caused me to stop by the booth was a display of sensory toys and products. A weighted blanket, bite bands, putty, etc. The person at the booth wasn't selling anything or giving away anything other than brochures. She was just displaying things that her child uses on a regular basis.

I just started asking her questions about what the items were, and it gave her the opportunity to explain autism to me and to educate me on the challenges her child faces. I'm not sure that I would have paid much attention to the booth if she hadn't displayed those items and grabbed my attention.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Make a print out of the common "myths of autism" so people can be informed.

If you can recommend great doctors who have helped you and your child? I would make a print out of that list.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I think your personal experience is very valuable.

I like the ideas of flyers, business cards, helpful books. I'd probably add a decorative bowl of candy for them to take one!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Your ideas sound great. I'm glad you're helping people find resources.

The only other thing I could think of would be some sort of useful info for families who aren't affected by autism directly, but who know someone who is. For example, a mom who takes her kid to the playground who regularly encounters another mom with a child with autism. Or the parent of a child who's in a school class with a child with autism. Or the neighbor of a family with a child or children with autism. There could be helpful info, like what autism is (and what it isn't), how to talk with your child about his classmate, how to interact socially with a child with autism, etc.

I think that many parents who have a child with special needs, or a disease, or a diagnosis of any type, wish that there were ways to help neighbors, classmates, relatives understand the family's struggles. They wish that others knew they're a regular family with an additional issue to deal with but they still want to be included in events. They want others to know it's not contagious, and it's not because they didn't give their kid enough vegetables or because they let their kid watch cartoons or because they don't eat organic food exclusively.

I'm just thinking of all the people at the fair who won't need autism services directly, but who could use some education and information from a reliable source. There's too much bad info out there, and too many accusations. You could help spread true and accurate info.

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answers from Washington DC on

Not sure if this is allowed or not, but I would sell or offer free water bottles and some kind of healthy snack or even a baked treat. This would be a popular draw to your spot and then people will take the time to check out all of your information.

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answers from Reading on

FAQs printed out, printed articles, puzzle piece rubber bracelets and swag that have your blog address...

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Would you have a laptop so you could actually show people your autism education site? That's the only other thing I can think of - sounds like a wonderful way to get information across. Good for you. I think people will just end talking to you and picking your brain more than anything.

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answers from Sacramento on

Flyers with some of the warning signs of autism as well as tips on how to interact with autistic children (especially helpful for those only familiar with neurotypical kids).

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answers from Philadelphia on

You are such a good person!!! Good luck!

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answers from Boston on

I think that what you have planned would be great. To be able to flip through your favorite books and then walk away with a flier that has the info about them and other sources would be very helpful.

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answers from Springfield on

I am very new to this Autism world (as in, my son was diagnosed just 4 months ago).

What you have sounds wonderful. One thing that I, personally, would appreciate is a flyer on some common questions with possibly a few suggestions or resources. For example, my almost 8 year old is suddenly have trouble with impulse control. He knows what he is supposed to do when he gets upset. He just is having trouble actually doing that and gets up set, shoves his desk or chair, sometimes yells or even hits or kicks (or bites, yikes!!!). I would love it if you had 5 - 10 common concerns that you could address. Maybe have a couple of common suggestions or mention a couple of books that could address my concerns.

Because this is new to me, it's a bit overwhelming. So really, anything you could do to help a person like me begin to navigate is going to be wonderful!

ETA - Just read the other responses and thought of 1 other thing. "10 things you wish teachers (or parents) knew about your child." We found a couple of websites with lists like that, and they really, really helped us when we had meetings with the teachers at the beginning of the school year and meetings with Sunday School teachers (who might not have any "teacher training").

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answers from Beaumont on

Sounds great to me. As a special needs Mom, all you mentioned would be a Godsend.

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answers from Washington DC on


How much time do you have to prepare?

Go to Michaels, Office Depot, Staples, etc. and get a tri-board (like this http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/434415/Office-Depot... ) and make up statistics about autism, local resources for autism, etc.

Talk with your therapist who is helping you with your website (if there is one) and see if there are things that you display to help people understand autism.

There are different levels of autism. Show what helps YOUR child get through life and such. Give the tools you wish you had when your child was first diagnosed.

By all means bring business cards for your website. Your place at this table for me? Would be to INFORM people - not get them to buy stuff.


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answers from Indianapolis on

You don't have to sell items at a health fair providing information is enough. Bringing your favorite books and making up flyers about the service you provide is a good idea. You could order cheap pens or pencils with your website engraved on them or even note pads with your name and website. Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

When I go to a health fair there are always a few tables giving away tote bags so that I can put the massive amounts of fliers and candy and pens and cards and flat fridge magnets with phone numbers and referral information on them, and so many other things.

I often have a very full tote bag when I'm done.

If you have a site for autism information then that's what they're expecting you to give to these people. Information about autism. I'd do something you can get for a minimal fee like the printed ink pens and candy for sure. People will go to just about any table if there is a bowl of free candy on it. Single items in their own package, like Tootsie Rolls.

Make a couple of posters with pictures of kids doing something in public or something that catches people's eyes. People look at pictures. Fact is things with no pictures are often skimmed over.


answers from Boston on

Baked goods are always welcome by me--because I am a terrible baker.

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