Brookfield, Wis. – A global pandemic. Social distancing. Masks. During a year when many people have felt more disconnected than ever, the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) is saying “Let’s reconnect!” during the 2020 Virtual International Convention & Expo. During the association’s first-ever all-virtual convention, attendees will come together October 20-22 for three days of incomparable opportunities for learning, networking, and discovering new products and services. With affordable registration fees – including an option to add additional registrants at a discounted price – participating in the NFDA Convention has never been more affordable.
“This has been an unbelievably tough year for our profession as we have faced, head-on, the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NFDA President R. Bryant Hightower Jr., CFSP. “During challenging times, I rely on my friends and colleagues for advice and to lift my spirits. That is why I am excited to gather and reconnect with my fellow funeral professionals from throughout the country and around the world during NFDA’s Virtual Convention. While we won’t be able to physically be together, as we have seen with the families we are serving, connecting online can be a meaningful way to unite in solidarity and learn and grow so we can meet the challenges we will face in the future.”
Going from Ordinary to Extraordinary
The keynote speakers for the 2020 NFDA Virtual International Convention & Expo were carefully selected for their proven ability to help people raise their game – personally and professional – and find the extraordinary in themselves.
Simon Sinek, author and keynote speaker
Tuesday, October 20, 1:30-2:30 p.m. CT
Simon Sinek is an unshakable optimist. He believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together. He has devoted his professional life to help advance a vision of the world in which the vast majority of people wake up every single morning inspired, feel safe at work and return home fulfilled a the end of the day Sinek is the author of multiple best-selling books including Start With Why, Leaders Eat Last, Together is Better, and The Infinite Game.
NFDA is pleased to have Homesteaders Life Company as a Double Black Diamond Sponsor of the convention in support of Sinek’s keynote address.
“We’re proud to make this leadership-level investment in the 2020 NFDA International Convention and Expo,” said Steve Shaffer chairman, president and CEO of Homesteaders Life Company. “Our team is confident that everything is being done by NFDA’s management and staff to make this virtual convention productive and very much worthy of participation. While we cannot be together in person, a virtual event removes a lot of the barriers to attendance. We hope many more funeral professionals can enjoy the stellar content planned for the 2020 Convention.”
Shaffer continued: “We are excited to be the sole sponsor of the keynote speaker, Simon Sinek, with whom we share a common purpose. His organization exists ‘to inspire people to do the things that inspire them so that, together, each of us can change our world for the better.’ Homesteaders changes people’s worlds for the better by focusing on creating connections between consumers and funeral professionals, enabling people to design a better farewell that benefits those they love. That definitely takes a great deal of inspiration and imagination, and we know Simon will provide both for everyone who hears him speak.”
Ignore Your Customers (and They’ll Go Away): A Playbook for Creating Exceptional Customer Experiences
Micah Solomon, author and keynote speaker
Wednesday, October 21, 9:30-10:30 a.m. CT
Micah Solomon is one of the world’s leading authorities on customer service, company culture, and the customer experience. A senior contributor to Forbes.com, his expertise has been featured in The New York Times, Inc. magazine, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, CNBC, and the Harvard Business Review. Solomon’s broad expertise touches on the hospitality industry; retail; automotive; manufacturing; technology; banking and finance; the patient experience in healthcare; and nonprofit organizations.
Superhero Leadership: How Everyday People Can Have an Extraordinary Impact
Brett Culp, documentary filmmaker
Thursday, October 22, 12:30-1:30 p.m. CT
Brett Culp is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and founder of The Rising Heroes Project, a
not-for-profit that inspires people to overcome personal adversity. Known for Legends of the Knight and Look to the Sky – which explore the power of heroic stories and individuals – are featured o Netflix, iTunes, Hulu and other digital platforms. Passionate, energetic and engaging, Culp’s insights on connecting individuals to an organization’s mission and goals help audiences find “the superhero within” and their own path to “everyday leadership,” while renewing their belief that their efforts can make an impact.
Extraordinary Education Sessions Tackle Critical Issues
Funeral service and the needs of families continue to evolve. Keeping up with these changes that come from both inside and outside of the profession is critical to your ability to deliver exceptional services to families and build a successful business. Combined with the keynote presentations, registered attendees can earn up to nine CE hours during the NFDA Virtual Convention.
Eighteen engaging and interactive education sessions will address technical skills; business management; the value of ceremony; marketing and community outreach; grief and bereavement; and more. Sessions include:
- Advanced Embalming Techniques for Infants, Stillbirths and the Unborn presented by Monica Torres
- Five Keys to Cremation Success presented by Mike Nicodemus and Adam Sanden
- Inside the Courthouse presented by Michael Sharkey
- Why Facebook Works for Funeral Homes presented by Bill Johnson
- Promoting Healing Following the Death of a Child presented by Betsy Hawley and Kristin James
- Hire Winners and Get Superstar Performance from Your Team presented by Ron Rosenberg
- And much more
During all presentations, session attendees will be able to chat and share information and ideas with one another. All presenters will participate in a live discussion with attendees following their talk.
If attendees miss a live education session, they will be able to watch a recording of the presentation and discussion with attendees. In fact, recordings of the keynote presentations and education sessions will be available on-demand to registered NFDA Virtual Convention attendees until October 31, 2020. (CE is only available for live sessions; CE is not available for viewing sessions on-demand.)
Virtual Convention … Real Networking and Real Fun
While the 2020 NFDA Convention may be virtual, the networking will be very real. In addition to opportunities to network with colleagues during education sessions, there will be opportunities during each day for attendees to network and socialize with peers from throughout the country and around the globe in chat rooms. NFDA also has fun surprises in store – from trivia and entertainment to a chance to win fabulous prizes during the Great Big Giveaway.
Don’t Miss the Expo Hall
The NFDA Virtual Convention features the world’s largest funeral service trade show, offering the newest and most exciting products, services and innovations from around the world. The Expo hall, featuring interactive virtual booths, will be open 24 hours a day during the NFDA Convention for attendees to explore; it will be available to registered NFDA Convention attendees through October 31.
Each day during the convention, exhibitor representatives will be available for live chat or individual meetings with attendees.
Attendees won’t want to miss special NFDA booths in the Expo Hall where they can learn about the association’s advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C.; the Pursuit of Excellence Award Program; the Remembering A Life consumer outreach initiative; and how they can stay informed with NFDA Publications.
Complete details on the 2020 NFDA Virtual International Convention & Expo is available by visiting www.nfda.org/convention.
Registration is Now Open
The registration fees for the NFDA Convention have never been more affordable, making it possible for all licensed staff to participate and earn CE at an reasonable price.
Attendees can save up to $50 when they register by October 19. Registration details are available online, www.nfda.org/convention, or call 800-228-6332.
Everyone who registers for the NFDA Convention will be entered into a weekly drawing for a $100 American Express gift card. The earlier a funeral professional registers for the convention, the more chances they have to win.
- NFDA Members
o Full convention registration
- On or before October 18: $199
- On or On or after October 19: $249
o Additional registrants from the same firm
- On or before October 18: $99
- On or after October 19: $149
o One day
- On or before October 18: $89
- On or after October 19: $139
o Expo only
- On or before October 18: $0
- On or after October 19: $50
o Full convention registration
- On or before October 18: $249
- On or after October 19: $299
o Additional registrants from the same firm
- On or before October 18: $129
- On or after October 19: $179
o One day
- On or before October 18: $119
- On or after October 19: $169
o Expo only
- On or before October 18: $50
- On or after October 19: $100
- Students – includes free digital membership to NFDA for nonmembers
o On or before October 18: $25
o On or after October 19: $50
This year the Funeral Service Foundation is awarding up to 100 full registration scholarships to qualified applicants to attend the convention. Valued at up to $249, the award is open to members and non-members licensed in the U.S. or Canada. Applicants will be asked to answer the question “Why is continuing education important to you?” and to write a 10-word personal epitaph. Those interested may apply online at https://www.funeralservicefoundation.org/scholarships/convention_scholarships/.
The application will remain open until October 1, or until all scholarships have been awarded. Those who already registered for the convention may apply, and recipients will be notified by email.
NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving more than 20,000 individual members who represent more nearly 11,000 funeral homes in the United States and 39 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader, beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. NFDA is the association of choice because it offers funeral professionals comprehensive educational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance to become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.nfda.org.