How to Re-Energize Your Funeral Home's Events

Posted September 12, 2018

5 min read

Does your funeral home host community events where you educate families on death, pre-planning, or another topic?

For many funeral homes, hosting events is a great way to get in front of families in your city. It’s also an effective way to invite them into your space so they can learn more about you and your funeral home.

We sat down with Ethan Darby—Marketing Director Trigard, Sunset Funeral Homes, Memorial Park, and Hall of Fame Plaques and Signs—to talk more about the best ways to re-invent your events.

Keep reading to learn the 3 methods Ethan says he’s focusing on to keep raising the bar when it comes to hosting events.

Tip #1: Keep evolving your events

You can get really good at presenting or talking about a certain topic in front of families…But force yourself to get outside your comfort zone so that you can continue to deliver relevant and fresh content, says Ethan. Maybe the key lessons from your presentation are kept intact, but you could create a new leave-behind that will re-energize your event.

Or, maybe you market the event in a whole new way, or you re-name and re-package the content, even if your themes are similar to the content before you re-purposed it.

Whether it’s the format or the content itself, get creative. Doing so will help you cut through the noise; after all, people have more options than ever for events to attend and content to consume.

This approach—evolving your event to keep it fresh—resonates a great deal with Ethan right now, too. One of the events Sunset Funeral Homes has put on for about 10 years saw a decline in attendance this past year.

Ethan recognizes the event may be getting stagnant. Sunset Funeral Home’s next step: to meet to revamp the event so that it has a new energy, new content—and so that new people attend that event the next time around. “Evolving is a good first step. We’re open to change so that we can mix it up, and so that we can reach new people, too.”

Tip #2: Take a fresh look at where you hold your events

If you hold event(s) at your funeral home, make sure your space is inviting. If it feels cold or if they smell embalming fluid, as an example, you aren’t necessarily setting the right tone for the event.

Aim for a neutral setting, suggests Ethan. That’s an environment where they don’t feel like they’re attending a funeral. “You can still be authentic to your space, but you can also make sure it has the right energy for a community event. That’s why I say to aim to create a space that feels neutral.”

One event Sunset Funeral Homes hosts is called “Pizza and Preplanning.” The event is not held at a funeral home; instead, it’s held at a local pizza restaurant. This has worked as a neutral site where people can still tackle the important topic of preplanning.

Tip #3: Invest in new ways of marketing to promote your event

Ethan’s main tip when it comes to marketing your event is to get as clear as you can about your event’s content. “At times, funeral homes can tend to dance around the topic, especially in marketing materials,” he says.

To get really clear on the value you’re providing attendees, share what it is that people will come away with when they attend.

It’s a mistake to be too ambiguous or vague about your content. Remember that clear messaging will help people know exactly why they should come. It will also help to make sure the right people show up, which is also important. Just as your event’s content might be evolving, the channels you use to market the event should also be evolving. Don’t be afraid to test out new channels.

Consider these ways to get the word out in front of the right people:

  • Create a Facebook event and start by inviting your own network to attend
  • Continue to share “previews” of the content people will learn about leading up to the event on Facebook.
  • Write a blog post about the event and share it throughout your business’ social media channels
  • If you have a strong following on LinkedIn or Twitter, be sure to post on those channels multiple times leading up to the event
  • Encourage your funeral home staff to share the event when they are willing
  • Create an ad on Facebook to inform people about the event
  • Submit your event to local calendars (Including newspaper calendars and places like meetup.com or other online event aggregators)
  • Send emails out to contacts when appropriate
  • Host the event with another group that tends to have strong attendance
  • Use Google Ads if your budget allows

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CRäKN gives you all the tools to manage your funeral home. It even integrates with your accounting system, call answering service, website, and more—helping you to save hours on every case.

Spend less time on admin and day-to-day operations, and spend more time with families. See how CRäKN can help you stay on top of every detail: request a demo today.

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