PPR Strategies

UVA Community Health

Summer Fun at the Fair: Employee Appreciation Event For UVA Community Health

“We needed an expert, yet flexible and affordable event planning service for team member-facing celebrations on a timeline of about six weeks. The team at PPR Strategies was wonderful to work with, and our events were a hit and went off without a hitch. What I appreciated most was having a partner that took the burden off of our internal team and was easy to work with once we secured approvals on the vision and budget. It was a successful partnership.”  – Kim Conquest, Senior Director, Marketing & Communications, UVA Community Health

UVA Community Health is an integrated network of community hospitals and primary and special care clinics that strive to enhance the health and well-being of those in the Greater Prince William, Culpeper, and Warrenton, Virginia areas.

After a change in hospital ownership that occurred in tandem with the COVID-19 pandemic, the leadership team at UVA Community Health sought to celebrate the staff’s hard work and perseverance through three employee appreciation events.

PPR Strategies was tasked with creating events for their hospitals in Culpeper, Haymarket, and Manassas, Virginia. Our team collectively brainstormed and created a vision board to develop a celebration theme that would resonate with staff. “Summer Fun at the Fair” was chosen, a budget was established, and our team began coordinating events, food, and vendors for the staff at each location to enjoy.  

Once our theme was chosen, site selection for each hospital location began. The goal was to select a space on each hospital campus where staff could freely come and eat delicious food, take a break, and enjoy their time between shifts. The UVA team assisted with the site selection, and our team coordinated with them to close parking areas needed for our tent setups. 

Each hospital location is unique, so each event layout was built to cater to each location. In Culpeper, we were able to coordinate one tent to cover the space while the hospital in Manassas had two tents – one for food and one for seating. Haymarket Medical Center offered an outdoor patio space adjacent to the cafeteria, which was ideal for the event. PPR utilized that area for seating and added a smaller tent for food. Small decor elements were handled by PPR and included farm-fresh flowers that our team personally arranged for an extra special touch. 

What is a fair without BBQ, funnel cakes, cotton candy, and games? Our team paid particular attention to selecting vendors that embodied the feel of an actual county fair. The food menu was mouthwatering – the primary food vendor was Hog Shack BBQ and included pulled pork and chicken, delicious coleslaw, cowboy beans, and cornbread (not to mention, the best potato salad we’d ever had)! Hog Shack BBQ went the extra mile for our client by adding corndogs as an extra menu item – playing well into our overall fair theme. 

Country Roads Picnic Co. created a stunning fruit and veggie grazing table that was worthy of a blue ribbon. It was almost too pretty to eat! The display looked like a produce judging table with ribbons, baskets, and perfectly plump fruit shining in the sunshine.

Spun sugar cotton candy by the Floss King brought color and sweetness to two of the events. Delicious orange and blue cotton candy was a big hit (although watching the Floss King himself, dressed in a crown, may have been the real treat).  

Funnel Cake Cafe created what was probably the most prominent staple to the fair theme – funnel cakes! They also offered deep-fried Oreos for an extra treat to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Kona Ice was on deck at each location to offer their delicious shaved ice in fun color-changing cups! A different Kona business served staff at each location, which allowed us to support even more small businesses in these local communities. 

PPR coordinated with Big Country Amusements to bring the thrill of the midway to each event. Their team seamlessly set up and staffed a variety of inflatable games, cornhole, and other amusements. Fresh popcorn was on hand for employees to enjoy while they enjoyed the carnival games.

Luxy Balloons created beautiful balloon installations to set the tone for the decorations. There were even horse balloons reminiscent of those on carousels incorporated into the designs.

PPR coordinated branded prizes and giveaways for each employee to take home as a token of UVA’s appreciation: belt bags; tumblers; stain sticks; stainless steel cups (reminiscent of one that rhymes with “manly”); and more! 

The events had a successful turnout of 800 total staff members and hospital leadership. While rain may have ended the day, it did not cast a grey cloud on the events. Each location’s event ran seamlessly even with a few pivots in our plans. The PPR Strategies team was able to come in under budget and created a wrap-up report and invoicing follow-ups until all accounts were settled.

Our partnership with UVA Community Health was profoundly rewarding for our team. Healthcare professionals have had to navigate an incredibly difficult world since 2020 and it was our pleasure to help recognize the UVA Community Health staff for thriving through a change of ownership during a global pandemic.




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