Monday, October 31, 2016

The importance of attending conventions

By Jason Murphy
Director of Family Services, Sunset Funeral Home and Memorial Park

Recently, many of our Trigard Burial Vaults team attend the National Funeral Directors Association(NFDA) convention in Philadelphia. After chatting with a few of them, I hear one thing in common. They all expressed how energized they felt after being around many other people in the industry. 

In my personal experience, I have also found that I get this same sort of refreshed feeling after attending conventions. I am always excited to get back to work and try out the new ideas that I learned about or simply share some of the items that I discussed with my peers. Recharging your battery is great, but I also feel conventions provide other important benefits as well. 

While at conventions, you are able to network with others who may be experiencing some of the same challenges that you face. This allows you to learn what has worked for them… and maybe more importantly, what has not worked. This could possibly save you a ton of time from trying something that is designed to fail. Through networking, you may also have the opportunity to grow your business. Obviously, with Trigard, we are always looking for new opportunities to partner with progressive firms, so these conventions are truly important for us to share our unique burial vaults and urn vaults with the rest of the industry. 

Speaking of networking, I feel that conventions provide a platform for new friendships and connections. I am part of the Illinois Cemetery and Funeral Home Association(ICFHA) Board of Directors. Through this opportunity and the many conventions that I have attended, I have developed strong friendships. These friendships go beyond simply being in the same industry. These friendships help when you need a favor or some good advice. It is always comforting to know that someone is a phone call away and will gladly go out of their way to help you in whatever you need. This is always a better strategy than just “Googling” an answer you that seek. 

My advice would be to attend as many conventions that fit your budget. You never know where a golden nugget is hiding, so allow yourself ample opportunities to find it.

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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