Funeral service is about sharing stories, and your funeral home has an important story to tell about how advance funeral planning helps make the most difficult days in families’ lives just a little easier. One impactful way to share this story is to host a community presentation at your funeral business.
Hosting a community presentation helps you leverage your skills to share the benefits of prearranging. Not only will you help educate families about this important service, but you’ll also have the chance to showcase your facilities and the exceptional events your firm is capable of hosting. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind as you plan a presentation.
1. Promote the event effectively.
In order to ensure good attendance at your presentation, promote your event early and often through communications that reach your intended audience in meaningful ways. Make use of your funeral home social media channels and funeral home blog to explain the benefits of attending the event. For example, you could create a video in which presenters share a preview of what participants can expect from the presentation, and post it on your social media pages.
Reach out to local groups whose members may be interested in attending and make a relevant case for why the event is worthwhile. You can also issue a press release to local media to share details about your event and ensure it is included in community event calendars.
2. Put the participants at ease.
Many community presentation events include a social component, such as a light lunch, which helps the participants feel comfortable in the setting. This also allows you to introduce yourself to each participant personally and learn more about their needs.
At the beginning of the presentation, affirm that beginning a conversation about memorialization is an important first step, even if it may be uncomfortable to discuss. Outline the goals of the presentation in your introduction so participants can consider how the points in your presentation apply to them.
3. Share real stories.
As a funeral professional, you’ve personally experienced how advance funeral planning helps individuals ensure their own wishes will be met and removes emotional and financial burdens from families. Include these stories in your presentation as compelling testimonials about what an important gift prearranging can be.
4. Encourage reflection through questions.
As you share stories about families who have experienced the benefits of advance funeral planning, encourage personal reflection by asking rhetorical questions. This will invite the participants to consider how prearranging could help them and their families. When you reach natural breaking points in your presentation, invite participants to ask you questions before continuing.
5. Follow up with participants after the event.
You most likely already have a process in place to follow up with families you have served and have discovered how valuable this feedback can be. Don’t forget to ask people who attend your community event to evaluate their experience, too. Gathering survey feedback about what elements were successful (and what could be improved) will help you become more efficient and effective at future events.
Beyond gathering feedback, be sure to show your appreciation to the people who attended the event. Personalize your follow-ups as much as possible to reflect the person’s participation. For example, if a person asked an astute question at your presentation, acknowledge this and offer to provide additional information about the topic if applicable.
A complete resource for community presentations.
Homesteaders has developed a community presentation kit, Think of Me When…®, which can help you follow each of the tips described here – and much more. The kit, which is available in English and Spanish, centers on a video presentation that features real stories from people who have experienced the benefits of advance funeral planning. It includes materials to help you plan, promote and deliver your presentation in a manner that will resonate with participants. It also includes discussion guides and evaluation forms to help you gather feedback on the program. To learn more about this kit, contact your Homesteaders account executive.