Health ambassadors can be the fun faces of your event. Train them in nutrition, drug awareness, health education and customer service. It is an investment that will keep growing. Recruit energetic, diverse and bilingual community members.
Health ambassadors wander around the event in fun, bright colored T-shirts and interact with event-goers. They might ask healthy riddles, give out sunscreen, direct folks to booths dedicated to healthy and delicious foods, tell kids about fun activities, manage safety concerns with security and law enforcement, direct smokers to designated smoking areas, give out maps of the events, and help guests find their way around.
- Recruit youth (and adult) volunteers from the community to be health ambassadors.
- Require event customer service training.
- Ask community partners to train the health ambassadors in expert areas. For example, ask the Smoke-Free Coalition to train health ambassadors on the different kinds of smoke and related health problems.
- Develop simple talking points for your priorities. One-liners and 8-second sound-bites will keep it easy.
- Have health ambassadors sport brightly colored T-shirts for easy identification. Guests will want to know more!
- It may be easier than you think to find corporate sponsors eager to have their names and logos promoting “healthy” in an innovative way.
- Offer incentives like stipends, community service hours, and school credit to thank health ambassadors for their contributions to the healthy event.
- Health ambassadors’ shifts should be no longer than 4 hours at a time. It’s difficult keep energy high level for much longer.
- Provide health ambassadors with admission and parking passes.
- Welcome health ambassadors to the beginning of their shift. Make sure all ages are valued for their experiences. Be available during their shifts for support and encouragement.
- Pair bilingual and monolingual health ambassadors whenever possible.
- Encourage and document health ambassador stories and experiences. They are the eyes and ears of the event.
- Ask health ambassadors what works. Involve them in brainstorming as representatives of the community.
- Furnish prizes and incentives for health ambassadors to pass out to engage guests in healthy conversations. They don’t have to be big prizes, but they should be healthy ones.
- Have fun!