I had a great question from an urn maker who will be exhibiting at the NFDA Convention for the first time this October.

Artist David Orth asks:

How many brochures do you think I ought to print for an event like this?  I’m thinking 2000, is that overkill?  Underkill (is that even a word?)?

When I attended my first NFDA show, I printed 2500 brochures and came back with more than 2000 of them.  Truth is, even if you hand a brochure to everyone willing to take one, while you ignore the real, meaningful conversations you could be having with people who want to go “in-depth,” you will still probably only give out 1000 pieces.

The NFDA show is not the place for you to get your product in front of every single person in the funeral industry.  Heck, it’s not even the right place to get it in front of everyone who attends! 

Too often, exhibitors assume that everyone who attends will pass by their booth.  They also incorrectly assume that everyone who passes by their booth will be willing to take a brochure.  And, this assumption kinda hinges on everyone who attends the show being attentive and connected to a funeral home in some meaningful way.

First, you need to remember that many of the people who attend the show are there on vacation with their loved one who does happen to be a funeral professional.  Lotsa kids come to these shows.  And by kids, I also mean teenagers and young adults who may be in mortuary school, but are unfamiliar with how to walk a trade show floor and interact.

Frankly, the kinda company that Mr. Orth runs, making unique and expensive art urns, doesn’t need 2000 clients.  I imagine that he would have difficulty making 2000 urns in a year, considering the beautiful furniture and art he makes in his primary line.

So Orth needs to find only a few takers amongst the thousands who will attend the show.  He needs to get his brochures into funeral directors’ hands, but there’s less urgency for him to “close a sale” at the show.  I imagine that most of the business he generates at the NFDA show will come from funeral directors who take his literature home and show it off to people in their community.

I’d say take 1,000 brochures and make sure they’re directed at the consumer.  Don’t put your wholesale pricing on them and don’t make them time-sensitive.  That way, a funeral director who finds the tri-fold a year later and shows it to a family doesn’t have to worry about “2009 pricing!” staring back at them.

He goes on to ask about dress code, which I addressed in the previous post.

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