Tim,

Just got back from the ICCFA in Las Vegas. It was a great meeting. This is a great group of progressive thinkers. It’s fun to listen to the different points of view from all sides; funeral, cemetery, cremation, sales and service. The main speakers were all great. Jackie Huba, John Moore, Scott Ginsburg and Doug Gober This year they tended toward the marketing side of things, which is what I like anyway, and encouraged all of us to get out there and tell people our story in every way possible, especially on the internet.

Scott Ginsburg, who has worn a name tag 24/7 for the last 9 years, gave everyone a copy of his latest book “Stick Yourself Out There”. I read the first half on the plane ride home and loved it.

Doug Gober, who always gives great talks, did a whole bit on the Apple vs PC commercials and related it to funeral service. Unfortunately far to many funeral directors look and act like the PC guy and we need to start thinking like Apple. It’s OK to make funerals fun.

The normal vendors were there (no cot covers though) but not as many as NFDA. I saw a few new cremation products that looked promising; a heart pendant that had space for a portion of cremains and a USB flash drive that could hold photos and video, was my favorite.

I do like how ICCFA has the booths open while lunch is served in the same area (They could have used a few more tables and chairs so we didn’t have to find some friendly booth to eat in) The main speakers took place before and after that period and the booths did shut down when those took place. Plus the Cocktail hours on the floor make for great socializing while still wandering the booths.

Your friends at Eternal Space got more press coverage, but I didn’t notice a lot of activity there. I know you and Ryan, from Connecting Directors, are big fans of them but I must confess that it seems a little like “The Sims goes to the Cemetery” for me. I’m still holding out to see if the general public will get this or if it’s just something for the geeks.

I had a great talk with Rob Heppel. He interviewed me for his Funeral Gurus site so maybe soon I will be a big internet star like you, Tim . I also sat in on his Strategy talk. Rob could have skipped the strategy portion for me (I already had most of it downloaded from his site) and just spent 2 hours on tips, examples and new stuff to do on your web site. What I really got out of a lot of these talks was that educational marketing is the way to go and the internet and your web site is the perfect medium for doing this. I already took some of Rob’s advice and grabbed a couple of URL’s so I can become the Funeral Information Guru in my area.

As always it’s the sharing of ideas with fellow members that’s the best. Talking over issues, getting support and letting you know that you’re not in this by yourself and that there are others out there traveling the same road.

Lastly, I’d like to pass along a great YouTube video that Alan Creedy stumbled across and posted on his Facebook page. I liked it so much I put it on my own funeral home website. You’ll need a tissue or two for this one. It’s a great example of what a “good, meaningful and memorable” funeral should be like. It’s real, it’s funny, and it touches your heart. Because we know the best funerals always include great stories. Here is the link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nw0s4C0g5SM 

I hope this helps you readers.

Dale Clock
Clock Life Story Funeral Home
Muskegon, Michigan
http://www.clockfuneralhome.com

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