What These Funeral Pros Are Looking Forward To in 2017
Posted November 30, 2016
5 min read
1. More Shared Stories
“I look forward to helping funeral professionals leverage new opportunities to promote the value of funeral service in the coming year. I’m energized by the creativity I’m seeing in funeral home storytelling, both in the way firms share their own brand stories through digital platforms and in how they plan exceptional experiences that tell the stories of client families’ loved ones. We’re focused on continuously improving the resources we offer to help firms serve even more families through advance funeral planning.” – Alyssa McNab, Digital Marketing Specialist, Homesteaders Life Company
2. Combining Modern Technology with Compassion
“In 2017, I am looking forward to see how my team can take the efficiency of modern technology and mix it with the compassion only a funeral professional can provide to make the perfect service experience for the families we serve.” – Jeff Friedman, Funeral Director at Distinctive Cremations & Funerals and author, the Distinctive Life Guy
3. Increased Educational Opportunities
“In 2017 I am looking forward to attending several conferences and training seminars to better educate myself as our industry is changing rapidly and we need to stay relevant if we are going to be successful…As the world around us changes we cannot assume that families are going to want the same old funeral celebrations… I am looking forward to surrounding myself with like-minded people who are excited with the challenges that lie ahead.” – Ann Marie St. George, CPC, the New York Regional Manager for Cooperative Funeral Fund
4. Attending One-of-a-Kind End-of-Life Celebratory Festivals
“In 2017, I’m looking forward to introducing the ‘Before I Die’ festival in Albuquerque in October. This festival, first held in Wales and in Indianapolis in 2016, combines art, movies, theater, dance, cemetery/funeral home/crematory tours, Death Cafes, and other activities that help people talk about their mortality and take steps to prepare.” –Gail Rubin, Funeral Planning Expert, author, and Certified Thanatologist, also known as The Doyenne of Death®
5. Speaking Opportunities & Meeting More People in the Industry
“I am speaking at the OFDA 2017 convention and I’m looking forward to that! I spoke to students last year and really loved it so I’m happy that they asked me back. I’m also looking forward to just writing more. The more I blog the more people I meet both involved in and outsiders of the funeral industry. I love meeting new folks and talking to them about the death care industry so hopefully I’ll be able to connect more!” – Lauren LeRoy, Funeral Director and Little Miss Funeral blogger
6. Using Technology to Regain Freedom & Improve the Profession as a Whole
“In 2017, I am looking forward to seeing more funeral directors reclaiming their freedom and spending more time doing the things they love with the help of mobile technology. Smartphones are becoming increasingly convenient for conducting business on the go, streamlining tasks and staying connected. Each year, ASD surveys funeral directors to learn how the emergence of mobile technology is affecting their lives, and year after year the number of funeral directors relying on new mobile tools increases.
As more funeral professionals discover how smartphone technology can deliver efficiency to their lives, it will be exciting to see just how these improved processes will benefit the profession as a whole. In 2017, ASD is looking forward to unveiling new tools that will help our clients to save time and better serve families.” – Jessica Fowler, Public Relations Specialist for ASD – Answering Service for Directors
7. A Profession That’s Motivated to Change
“A funeral industry that is motivated to change how things are done is what I look forward to the most in 2017. Let’s face it, funerals are changing, ‘who’s who’ in the industry is changing, and relationships in the industry are changing… just to name a few. As cremation rises, this puts pressure on not only individual funeral homes but also the suppliers that serve them.
As an example, on the heels of Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions announcing that all Aurora non-gasketed produced products would begin to be made in Mexico and the closure of the Piney Flats wood manufacturing facility; Batesville followed this up with a closure of their wood manufacturing facility in Mississippi, also moving production to Mexico.
We have already seen in the short time since these announcements funeral homes begin to open their eyes, re-evaluate the value that their suppliers are bringing them and begin to seek out non-legacy supplier options that may be a better fit for their business today. This is important as too often funeral home owners/decision makers revert to an old relationship as their primary reason for doing business with a certain company. I look forward to this trend not only continuing, but also strengthening in 2017!” – Danielle Thacker of Thacker Caskets and The Funeral Gal blogger
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