The greatest gift this holiday season is the gift of health. Busy business people may not make time to go to the doctor or pharmacy for a flu shot because it conflicts with their work schedule. Once one person in an office catches the virus, it spreads like wildfire. Being cooped up on an airplane or in a meeting room are also recipes for flu disaster.

To help combat the highly contagious bug, meeting professionals can bring a vaccination station to their convention or conference. Think of it as one stop shopping for the attendees. They can conduct business and get an immunization at the same time, thus eliminating the excuse of inconvenience. In fact, National Influenza Vaccination Week is coming up the first week of December.

As a planner, do your due diligence in researching companies that offer on-site flu clinics to ensure that you select a reputable agency with proper certifications. One company that offers this service is Total Wellness. In their online guidebook, they suggest some items meeting professionals can check off their list one-by-one to make sure the clinic goes off without any hiccups.


1. Plan clinic far enough in advance to ensure that the medical group you’d like to hire is available on your desired date.

2. Spread the word amongst attendees and provide them with educational materials. The website for The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a great source for information.

3. Encourage participants to schedule appointments during their breaks so a long line does not form that will cause people to miss conference sessions.

4. Remind participants to wear short sleeves or sleeves they can easily roll up.

5. Lead by example. Have a high-profile representative get vaccinated first.

6. Set up clinic with a table, garbage bin, chairs, pens and consent forms.

7. Post proper signage so clinic is easy for people to find.

8. Track success by participation rate and tracking whether vaccinations effectively prevented employees from getting sick.

To encourage meeting attendees to take advantage of the flu shot clinic, planners can offer an incentive to those who get vaccinated, such as a gift card to a coffee shop. Guests, and everyone they encounter, will thank you for a healthy winter, if the shot is effective. There is no guarantee it’ll work, but CDC advises people over the age of six months to get vaccinated annually. Plus, healthy employees are productive employees.

Smart Tip: Another measure planners can take to prevent the spread of germs is handing out bottles of anti-bacterial hand gel in swag bags or at a trade show booth. The label on the bottles can be branded with the company or event name and logo.

Roll up your sleeves, keep your hands clean and stay sniffle-free!