Understand Your Community; Know Your Audience
Your community probably has health and social issues that can be impacted at fairs and festivals. People want to be healthy; businesses want happy customers and to give them what they want.
For Example: Alcohol consumption by adults and teens in Marin is alarmingly higher than the average rates in both California and the United States. That’s where we decided to start focusing attention.
What are your community’s alarming statistics?
- Gather information to identify community health needs. Contact your local hospital, health department and community foundations. Major health concerns, needs and effective health strategies will differ from one community to the next depending on culture, age and geography.
- Alcohol consumption, especially among youth, tends to be an issue in most communities. Consider starting where Play Fair Marin started: by replacing alcohol manufacturers as event sponsors.
- If smoking is an issue in your community, create designated smoking sections to make the event mostly smoke-free but still welcoming to all.
- If diabetes and obesity are an issue, focus on healthy food choices and promote the vendors who are offering healthy food.
- Engage community members from the start. Make sure to invite all ages and cultures from youth to older adults to work together. Make room in brainstorming sessions for everyone to participate.
- Search out partners rooted in your community. The most effective partners will include people and organizations from across the community who are optimistic about change.