While I’ll be posting a much longer convention wrap-up on Monday, June 11, I wanted to share my first impressions with you, my readers.

I got a lot of value out of this convention.  Because the IFDF represents independent funeral directors, I was able to spend more time talking one-on-one with funeral home owners.  Many of the firms I got to know have an owner/operator who makes all the decisions.  It’s great to show our georgeous cot covers directly to the buyer.

And while I know the National Funeral Director’s Association Convention (in Las Vegas in October) will have more attendees, I don’t think it can match the immediate benefits offered by the IFDF.

But I made a vow that success at the convention would be judged by how many orders I could generate.  To make the decision to spend a pile of money on the National convention, the product would have to prove itself with a good showing at the IFDF convention.  And I met my goal.  So it’s off to Las Vegas in October!

Attended by over 4000 funeral professionals, the NFDA Convention is the “Big Show” that everyone talks about.  The least expensive exhibit booth is $1600, just for the space.  And I think that’s in the back corner tucked behind a support beam!

Registration for exhibit space is well underway, which means we won’t be getting prime real estate.  While I could have registered earlier, I laid out a plan for this business three years ago and have been able to stick to the benchmarks I designed way back when I had one sewing machine and two orders a month.  I can’t deviate now that I’ve got four part-time employees and an entire workshop full of equipment, materials and tiny scraps (no matter how much we vacuum, there are little strings everywhere!).

And while my convention success is reason for pride, I’m even more excited by the fact that, separate from the initial small investment of my own money, Final Embrace has supported itself and paid for all expansion with $0 in loans or bailout from anyone.  In fact, it’s grown so much that it now pays four part-timers and me!

Wow, this seems to have turned into a motivational speech!  Sorry about that.  I’ll do a full wrap-up of the IFDF Convention on Monday.

Bye for now!