Let the Good Times Roll: Registration Now Open for the 2024 NFDA International Convention & Expo

The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) is thrilled to announce that registration is now open for the 2024 International Convention & Expo, taking place October 20-23 in New Orleans, Louisiana. As the premier event in funeral service, the NFDA Convention always offers an unforgettable experience for thousands of professionals, suppliers and experts converging from around the globe. Attendees can expect a dynamic mix of cutting-edge educational sessions, an expansive expo featuring the latest innovations and unparalleled networking opportunities – all set against the vibrant cultural backdrop of New Orleans.
Keynote Speakers Offer Fresh Perspectives
The NFDA Convention keynote speakers will illuminate critical issues and ignite attendees’ professional and personal journeys.
Opening General Session – Monday October 21: Visual Intelligence and the Art of Perception presented by Amy Herman, author, lawyer and art historian.
In today’s fast-paced world, we often rely too heavily on assumptions and overlook critical details. Using art, Amy Herman will help attendees sharpen their observations, uncover hidden biases and enhance their communication skills. This highly interactive session, sponsored by National Guardian Life (NGL), promises to refresh attendees’ critical inquiry and leadership skills, making them more effective in their professional and personal interactions.
Closing General Session – Wednesday, October 23: You Can’t Start a Fire Without a Spark: Finding Hope and Inspiration presented by Jason Arday, public speaker and professor at the University of Cambridge.
Professor Jason Arday is a social commentator, presenter and public speaker, but at three years old, he was diagnosed with global development delay and autism spectrum disorder. He did not speak until he was 11 years old and could not read or write until he was 18. Overcoming these profound early-life challenges, Arday went on to become a trailblazing professor at the University of Cambridge. His journey is a testament to finding inspiration in unexpected places. His session, which is sponsored by Carriage, will explore how to harness resilience and motivation, providing invaluable insights that can be applied in one’s life and career.
Engaging Education Covers Essential Issues
It can be challenging to stay on top of continually evolving consumer preferences, increasingly complex economic realities, and challenges recruiting and retaining quality staff. To help you stay ahead of the curve, NFDA has brought together the best experts to lead more than 30 engaging education sessions covering embalming and restorative art, compliance and legal, consumer care, business operations, disposition, innovation and technology, marketing and more. Sessions include:
  • Emaciation: The Forgotten Restoration presented by John T. Hill, funeral director and embalmer, James Funeral Home
  • The Synergy of Funeral Professionals and Death Doulas presented by Ashley Johnson, founder, Loyal Hands LLC
  • Insights to Action: Using Consumer Data to Guide Your Business Model presented by Chris Cruger, CEO, Foresight
  • The Consumer’s Journey to Purchasing Funeral Services: A Marketing Roadmap for Growing Market Share and Revenue presented by Bill A. Johnston, president, Post and Boost Inc.
  • Navigating the Future: Understanding the “Zero Consumer” presented by Georganne Bender, partner, KIZER & BENDER Speaking
  • Addressing Quiet Quitting, Disengagement and Resignations presented by Dr. Allen Lycka, speaker, mentor and trainer
  • The Impact of Vicarious Trauma on Funeral Directors presented by Kristina Rose, director, Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice
  • End Well Together presented by J.J. Duncan, television producer, writer and advocate; Hui-Wen Sato, pediatric ICU nurse; and Darnell Walker, television writer and death doula
  • Will That be Swedish or Deep Tissue? presented by Regan Moreland, funeral director and embalmer, Radney Funeral Home
  • And many more
In addition to education sessions, NFDA will offer five pre-convention seminars. These intensive workshops, designed to provide deep dives into specialized topics, will give attendees actionable knowledge and skills (additional fee):
  • October 18-20 – Certified Celebrant Training, presented by Glenda Stansbury and Matt Bailey, brought to you by InSight Institute and hosted by NFDA
  • October 19 – NFDA Arranger Training, presented by Lanae Strovers, trainer, NFDA
  • October 19 – NFDA Cremation Certification Program, presented by Michael Nicodemus, vice president, cremation services, NFDA, sponsored by Implant Recycling with additional support from Federated Insurance
  • October 20 – Panel Discussion: Ask the Seasoned Professional Embalmer – Your Questions Answered! presented by Vernie R. Fountain, post-mortem reconstructive specialist, Fountain National Academy, and a panel of embalming and restorative art specialists
  • Sunday, October 20 – Safe Zone Training for Funeral Service Professionals, presented by Sara Murphy, Ph.D., death educator, Fellow in Thanatology and Suicidologist
Attendees who feel more comfortable learning in another language can access translation services via a new web-based software that gives them access without needing to download an app or use special equipment. Attendees will use their mobile device to scan a QR code at the convention registration desk. They can select their preferred language and enjoy on-demand translation of education and keynote sessions.
Make time to Explore the Expo
The world’s largest funeral service trade show awaits! Discover the newest products and services, many unveiled for the first time. The NFDA Expo Hall is open October 21-23, providing ample time to explore and connect with more than 350 exhibitors. From innovative technology solutions to unique memorial products, the Expo offers a comprehensive look at the tools and services shaping the future of funeral service.
During the Opening General Session on October 21, NFDA will announce the winner of the 2024 Innovation Award. Established in 2009, the NFDA Innovation Award, which is sponsored by ASD – Answering Service for Directors, recognizes and promotes creativity, innovation and excellence among funeral service suppliers and vendors. Convention attendees can check out the Innovation Award Winner, along with the runners-up and finalists, in the Expo Hall.
Connecting with Colleagues in the Crescent City
From the Welcome Party at Mardi Gras World to the Funeral Professionals Young at Heart Party, there are countless opportunities to network, celebrate, and experience the essence of New Orleans.
Funeral Service Foundation Golf Classic – October 20: Join fellow professionals for a day on the greens at TPC Louisiana. This event supports the Foundation’s mission while providing a fun and competitive networking opportunity. The $350 fee includes transportation, tournament fees, food and beverages and 18 holes of play. Visit FuneralServiceFoundation.org/Golf to register and learn about sponsorship opportunities.
ReConnect – October 20: Those who didn’t want their 2024 Professional Women’s Conference to end, can renew relationships with fellow attendees and other funeral service professionals at ReConnect, sponsored by National Guardian Life (NGL). There is no charge for this event; additional details will be forthcoming.
Welcome Party – October 20: Kick off the NFDA Convention with style at Mardi Gras World, enjoying live music, hors d’oeuvres, and the iconic New Orleans Hurricane drink. This event is included with registration and is the perfect way to meet and reconnect with colleagues in a festive setting. The Welcome Party is sponsored in part by Legacy.com and Batesville.
All-Star Recognition Ceremony – October 21: Join the NFDA Board of Directors as the association celebrates the remarkable accomplishments of funeral homes and funeral service professionals from the past year during the All-Star Recognition Ceremony. NFDA will recognize: 2024 NFDA Pursuit of Excellence Award recipients; NFDA Green Funeral Practice Certificate holders; NFDA Cremation Certification designees; NFDA Certified Preplanning Consultants; Funeral Service Foundation scholarship recipients; 2024-25 NFDA National Emerging Leaders Program participants; 2024 Meet the Mentors participants; 2024 NFDA Inspiration Award recipient; NFDA International Professional Achievement Certificate holders; and Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice Certified Funeral Service Practitioners. This event is included with registration.
Service of Remembrance – October 22: When someone dies in New Orleans, a traditional jazz funeral begins with a slow, somber march to the church or funeral home and, after the service, concludes with a joy-filled second line procession. All attendees are invited to attend the annual Service of Remembrance, which will incorporate these traditions while honoring the memory of funeral service family members who died during the past year. The Service of Remembrance is sponsored by Tukios and Messenger and is included with registration.
Funeral Professionals Young at Heart Party – October 22: Whether attendees are new to the profession, under 40 or just young at heart, they can join colleagues for tempting appetizers, refreshing cocktails and the spine-tingling “New Orleans Original True Crime Tour – Sinister Criminal Intentions.” Additional registration is required for this event and attendees must be at least 21 to attend.
Community and Charity
Attendees will join together October 19 for a day of giving back to the New Orleans community. This volunteer opportunity allows attendees to make a meaningful impact on the host city, reflecting the spirit of service that defines the funeral service profession. More information will be available in the weeks to come; attendees must sign up in advance for this day of service.
Additionally, attendees can lace up their running shoes for the inaugural Lasting Legacies 5K Run/Walk on October 22, benefiting a local New Orleans charity. This event offers a unique chance to network while enjoying the beautiful grounds of historic Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home and Cemetery. Registration is $50 and includes the entry fee, t-shirt, transportation, refreshments and awards for the top three male and female finishers.
Funeral Face-off
Fans of pub trivia will want to participate in this year’s Funeral Face-off, NFDA’s ultimate funeral service trivia challenge. Three-person teams will compete against each other during preliminary rounds this summer. The action then heats up in the Expo Hall for the Wild Card and Championship rounds.
Attendees who want to test their funeral knowledge for prizes, bragging rights and convention trivia immortality should start assembling a team today; registration is open at NFDA.org/Convention. Questions are provided by the American Board of Funeral Service Education. Participate or cheer on the teams at this year’s convention. The 2024 Funeral Face-off is sponsored by Precoa and @need Marketing.
Explore New Orleans
The city of New Orleans – with world renowned restaurants, nightlife, history and culture – offers a dynamic experience that is vibrant and unlike that of any other American city.
There are now more dining options in New Orleans than ever before. More than 1,000 restaurants – from four-star cuisine to corner po-boy shops – elevate food to an art form.
New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz and music of all genres continues to flourish today. The city’s vibrant music scene receives raves from critics, visitors and locals.
New Orleans’ shops and boutiques – from the French Quarter to Magazine Street – offer some of the finest and most eclectic shopping in the U.S.
The celebrated historic core of the city – including the French Quarter, Central Business District, Warehouse and Arts District, Magazine Street, Garden District, Audubon Zoo and Park, and the stately St. Charles Avenue – is better than ever.
The cultural riches, sensual indulgences and unparalleled service that define New Orleans continue to flourish as they have for centuries.
To help attendees experience the magic of the Big Easy, NFDA has coordinated five city tours, each offering a distinct perspective on the city’s rich history and vibrant culture. These tours require separate registration.
  • October 20: The “Big Easy” Private City Tour
  • October 20: A Taste of New Orleans Tour
  • October 21: Sacred & Mysterious Churches and Cemeteries Tour
  • October 21: A Haunted French Quarter Evening Tour
  • October 22: Louisiana Flatboat Swamp Tour
Apply for a Convention Scholarship
All funeral directors licensed in the U.S. or Canada are invited to apply for scholarships are invited to apply for scholarships to attend the NFDA Convention. The Funeral Service Foundation will award up to 20 scholarships, each valued at up to $2,200, that cover registration fees, three nights’ lodging and up to $500 in travel reimbursement. Attendees must apply online at FuneralServiceFoundation.org by 11:59 p.m. CT on July 24.
Register and Make Hotel Reservations Today
NFDA International Convention & Expo attendees should register on or before September 9 to take advantage of early-bird pricing. After September 9, prices will increase by $150.
Maritz Global Events is the official hotel bureau for the 2024 NFDA International Convention & Expo. Maritz enables attendees to easily compare hotel prices and locations to find the accommodation that best meets their needs. Maritz’s simple booking process – and friendly, helpful staff – will make booking a hotel room and managing reservations a breeze. Reservations must be made by September 26.
Funeral service professionals may receive calls or emails from scammers offering hotels for the NFDA Convention. While these offers may seem like a good option, they may not be legitimate, come with unreasonable cancellation or change penalties, have exorbitant fees, or be completely non-refundable. When attendees book with Maritz Global Events, they will be treated honestly and fairly.
The latest information, including information on how to register and make hotel reservations, is available at NFDA.org/Convention or by calling 800-228-6332 (+1-262-789-1880).
Thank You
NFDA thanks its 2023 International Convention & Expo sponsors for their support: National Guardian Life (NGL), Homesteaders Life Company, Federated Insurance, Carriage, Tribute Technology, Batesville, Legacy.com, Love Urns, Messenger, Physicians Mutual, Security National Life, TruStage, ASD – Answering Service for Directors, C&J Financial, Funeral Home Gifts, Implant Recycling, Madelyn Co., @need Marketing, Passare, Precoa, Ring Ring Marketing, Tukios, Ultimate Canine, Aurora Payments/Chosen Payments, Doric, Foundation Partners, Funeral365, Heartland, Inman Shipping, Nomis Publications Inc., and USA Today Network Obituaries.