Friday, April 24, 2015

Are conventions still worth it?

Ethan Darby,
Customer Service Manager
& Business Development
Our team returned from the 2015 ICCFA Convention and Expo a few weeks ago, and we're working hard on the details for our upcoming Trigard Vault Dealer Convention. But it got me really thinking. When nearly every company has a strong online presence, are conventions becoming a thing of the past?

If you think about it, you can find almost everything you see at a convention somewhere online. Presentations can be recorded, vendors have robust websites, and leads can be generated through LinkedIn. It seems like many of the best reasons to attend a convention could be handled through your laptop or tablet.

I know first-hand that attending a convention isn't cheap either. By the time you add in flights, hotel rooms, food, and registration fees, it can feel like you've spent a small fortune. And if you're a vendor on the Expo floor, that space isn't inexpensive. Plus you have to bring your booth display, materials, and products with you.

So, are conventions still worth it?

Even as a plugged-in Millennial who prefers to handle more things online than on the phone or in person, I can confidently say YES. I believe conventions are still worth our investment as vendors and as funeral professionals.
  • Your consistent attendance of a convention year after year shows consistency in your business as a whole. If attendees see you there often enough, they associate your business with lasting success.
  • You stay up-to-date with industry topics, news and new practices. Even if you don’t attend any educational seminars, there is a lot to learn on a convention floor. And of course, conventions are a great way to collect CEUs.
  • Relationships are best created in person. As much as I favor technology, I believe face-to-face interaction is still the most effective form of communication. You learn so much from body language and non-verbal cues. Relationships become deeper more quickly when you've spent time together in the same space.
  • All it takes is one solid lead. Have you ever heard of opportunity cost? It's what you could have gained when you decide to do something else. So what could you have gained by attending a convention? One great lead? One transformative idea?
I encourage you to continue to attend conventions. Whether they are small state shows or international expositions, they all have something to offer.

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at

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