Not long back and I thought I would let you know how I got on at NFDA2022. “The National Funeral Director Association’s International Convention and Expo 2022”. It was in the Baltimore Convention Centre from 9th to 12th October 2022. And I found it to be an excellent event. It is the leading funeral convention and exhibition in the world. It provides professional development, networking opportunities and the latest info on industry trends.
Sunday, there was a full programme of talks and education sessions. Took the day off to catch up with some old friends ahead of the Welcome Opening Party for NFDA2022 that evening. It was an 80’s themed party and some of the outfits were amazing. It was a great way to start the event.
Again each day there was a full morning of talks, key speakers and education sessions. The Expo opened at 12pm on the Monday and ran until Wednesday afternoon.
The exhibition hall was huge. It offered a variety of products and services for Funeral Directors. There was one thing that stood out for me when it came to funeral services as I went around the expo floor. What stood out was “pre-needs” as in the pre-planning of funerals. There was a good number of service providers and their stands busy. And it was a popular topic of conversation over the few days.
With this in mind, if you offer pre-planning of funerals, I would highlight it on your website. And use social media to share the benefits and answer questions. This will help open up the conversation with friends and family. Also, all the social media platforms have search facilities. People do use them for research, as well as using Google. Posting on social media you have the opportunity to educate your online community. As well as sharing feedback from families you have assisted with their pre-planning. This will all contribute towards more people wanting to find out more from you.
These networking events allowed us to meet new people and catch up again with friends. On Monday and Tuesday evenings the events “were all go”. Lots of photos and videos were shared on social media. The last event was The Closing Party. It was on in the National Aquarium and it was an amazing venue to conclude. During the evening it was lovely to chat there and view a wide array of marine life. It was the best networking event of the week.
Not forgetting social media!
Social media played a big part when it came to my NFDA2022 journey. Conversing with many Funeral industry professionals I already had met on social media. Then on Zoom calls and finally getting to meet face to face was amazing. Hugs rather than handshakes were the order of the day.
It was great to go to the exhibition stands of the businesses and people I had wanted to converse with. And with those who had sent invitations ahead of to meet at the exhibition. Sharing business cards and the question “do you have a LinkedIn profile?” came up quite a lot. This took away the concern of running out of and/or business cards you get going missing. More personal follow-ups via LinkedIn, so fewer emails.
Social media was a buzz leading up to NFDA2022. Then during the whole event and afterwards by all exhibitors, sponsors and attendees. So many selfies and group photo shots with lots of memories shared online. And already building excitement for next year’s NFDA2023.
Before, during and after my visit to NFDA2022, I took a few photos and videos to share on social media. I felt I had to share a photo of a standout display for me: Funeral Lego. This is a new way to help families personalise the funerals of their loved ones.
They say it’s good to talk. And it was. Was delighted to chat with Brian Waters, Co-Host of “Undertaking The Podcast” and John Adams, The President of “The National Association of Funeral Directors” in the UK as an Associate Member of NAFD. It was great to get their perspectives on the industry and learn more about what they do. Do check out the podcast, it’s worth a listen!
And before I finish I wanted to say, about making new connections. I met the most interesting people at NFDA2022. One, in particular, was Jeffrey Weafer who was representing “The Canadian Association of Funeral Directors”. He sent me this poem he had written with permission to share. I hope you like it as much as I do “The Last Responders”.
I enjoyed being in Baltimore for NFDA2022. It was my first Funeral event in the US and it was a great experience. I am very interested to see what the future holds for funeral services over the next few years. I would give NFDA2022 a 10 out of 10 rating as a funeral convention and exhibition! Will you be attending NFDA2023?
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