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Join Your Colleagues in Baltimore for the 2022 NFDA International Convention & Expo

PRESS RELEASE

Brookfield, WI — Registration and housing are open for the 2022 National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) International Convention & Expo. Taking place October 9-12 in Baltimore, Maryland, the world’s largest funeral service event will offer funeral service professionals a chance to break through the noise and build the skills and knowledge needed to serve modern funeral consumers and build thriving businesses. 

Keynote Speakers Will Enlighten and Inspire

NFDA has invited three keynote speakers to help attendees thrive in these uncertain times.

Monday, October 10: Stories That Stick: The Irresistible Power of Strategic Storytelling presented by Kindra Hall, award-winning author and storytelling expert 

Leaders at all levels are desperately trying to capture attention and resonate with consumers who expect more. Is there a secret weapon? The answer is strategic storytelling. Kindra Hall will reveal the psychology behind strategic storytelling and demonstrate how to fully take advantage of it. Using her actionable blueprint for effective storytelling, attendees will leave empowered and equipped to captivate customers and blow up their brand by leveraging the irresistible power of stories. Hall is sponsored by Homesteaders Solutions. 

Tuesday, October 11: The Way Forward: Mastering Life’s Toughest Battles and Discovering Your Purpose presented by Sergeant Dakota Meyer, U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Medal of Honor recipient 

Following an attack on his comrades in Ganjgal, Afghanistan, Dakota Meyer showed the ultimate level of courage and determination by entering the “killing zone” and saving the lives of many Afghan and American troops. Meyer draws from his military memoirs and lessons learned in his post-military life to share what it takes to survive, thrive, and tackle your biggest obstacles — whether in combat or in everyday life. 

Wednesday, October 12: Embrace Your Thoughts, Elevate Your Life presented by John O’Leary, author, motivational speaker, and host of the “Live Inspired” podcast 

It’s harder than ever to be a funeral director today. You work longer hours, and the job is more demanding, which can lead to burnout and stress beyond imagination. Some days, it’s easy to feel like the cards are stacked against you, but you can be empowered by your circumstances and overcome them. John O’Leary knows a thing or two about beating unimaginable challenges. As a child, he was burned on 100% of his body and was given less than a 1% chance to live. He could have given up, but he focused on having a positive perspective. John will share how thoughts are powerful and can change your life. O’Leary is sponsored by Funeral Directors Life. 

Extraordinary Education Sessions Tackle Vital Issues

The progressive education funeral professionals need to build growing businesses that serve families and communities can only be found at the NFDA Convention. Engaging education sessions will cover technical skills, business management, the value of ceremony, cremation, marketing and community outreach. To help funeral service professionals build upon their foundation of skills, NFDA has planned more than 30 engaging education sessions including: 

  • Embalming: Let’s Do Better presented by Dana Goodell, The Embalmers Supply Company
  • Online Deathcare: Evolving Consumer Expectations presented by Lee Senderov, Foundation Partners Group; Luke Frieberg, eFuneral; Sally Camm, Astound Commerce; Scott Ankerholz, Foundation Partners Group
  • Creating Meaningful Cremation Rituals presented by Alexandra Jo, Parting Stone
  • The Price is Right: How to Compete on Service presented by Danielle Burmeister, Homesteaders Life Company
  • Dover Port Mortuary Full Body Wrap Demonstration presented by Danielle Wilk, Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations
  • Standing for Something Larger Than Yourself presented by Annette March-Grier, RN, CFSP, Roberta’s House
  • What the Heck Should I Do With All This Tech?! presented by Zack Garbow, Funeral Innovations
  • Understanding the Millennial Professional presented by Antonio Green, James H. Cole Home for Funerals
  • And much more

NFDA will also offer four preconvention seminars (additional fee):

  • NFDA Arranger Training Seminar presented by Melissa Posey Loose, NFDA training and development manager
  • NFDA Cremation Certification Program presented by Mike Nicodemus, NFDA vice president of cremation services
  • Certified Celebrant Training hosted by NFDA and brought to you by InSight Institute – presented by Glenda Stansbury and Matt Bailey
  • Extreme Restoration Case Solutions: “What to Do and Use” presented by Karl Wenzel, CFSP, and Glyn Tallon, CFSP, of the Canadian School of Advanced PREP

Innovation Flourishes in the Expo Hall 

The NFDA Convention features the world’s largest funeral service trade show, offering the newest products, services, and innovations from around the world. Many exhibitors plan to introduce new products and services during the convention. The Expo Hall will be open October 10 and 11 from noon to 5 p.m.; and October 12 from 9 a.m. to noon.

NFDA Booth Showcase

Attendees won’t want to miss special NFDA booths in the Expo Hall where they can learn about: the association’s advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C.; the Pursuit of Excellence Award Program; saving time and money with NFDA Endorsed Providers; resources for connecting with consumers through Remembering A Life; how to hire quality employees or find a job using NFDA’s Funeral Career Center; and staying informed with NFDA Publications.

Pause for Paws

Funeral home owners who want to discover the benefits a therapy dog can bring to their firm – and meet certified dogs and puppies-in-training – should visit the Pause for Paws booth, sponsored by Thumbies and Ultimate Canine.

Great Big Giveaway

NFDA is giving attendees a chance to win phenomenal prizes during the Great Big Giveaway on October 12. When attendees visit the booths of NFDA’s valued sponsors on Wednesday morning they will be entered to win a variety of exciting prizes, including the grand prize of a trip to the 2023 NFDA International Convention & Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. Winners will be announced during the Wednesday General Session (must be present to win).

Creating Connections in Charm City

A lot of networking happens during education sessions and in the Expo Hall, but NFDA’s distinct events will give attendees an opportunity to create new connections and renew old ones. Special events, planned exclusively for NFDA Convention attendees, will showcase the energy and excitement of Baltimore. 

Special events

On Saturday, October 8, attendees will swap their suits and trocars for jeans and a hammer to help make the dream of home ownership a reality for a local family by volunteering at a Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake build site. There is no fee to participate in this annual service project, but volunteer slots are limited, and attendees must sign up in advance. Those who cannot participate at the build site can support volunteers’ efforts by signing on as a donor or sponsor. Visit the NFDA Convention website for more information about sponsorship and volunteer opportunities.  

Dover Port Mortuary Orientation

Dover Air Force Base is home to the Department of Defense’s largest aerial port and approximately 11,000 Airmen and joint service members, civilians and families. It is also home to Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations, which is charged with fulfilling the nation’s sacred commitment of ensuring dignity, honor and respect to the fallen, and care, service and support to their families. On Saturday, October 8 join your colleagues for an on-site, guided experience exploring our nation’s one-of-a-kind Dover Port Mortuary (ticket required; as this is an active military base, a background check is also required). 

Funeral Service Foundation Golf Classic

Now in its twenty-second year, the Funeral Service Foundation’s Golf Classic has raised more than $1.5 million in support of its mission to invest in people and programs that strengthen funeral service and lift up grieving communities. This year’s event takes place at the world-class Whiskey Creek Golf Club, located 45 minutes from downtown Baltimore. Both the bold and the cautious golfer will find a route on this honest – yet dramatic – course, designed by J. Michael Poellot and Ernie Els. Each hole challenges a player’s shot-making ability and offers risks and rewards. Dramatic views of the Catoctin Mountains and an all-around spectacular setting make Whiskey Creek’s beauty and play unforgettable. Visit www.FuneralServiceFoundation.org/golf to register and learn about sponsorship opportunities.

Welcome Party

During the NFDA Convention Welcome Party on Sunday, October 9, attendees will take a trip down memory lane to the era of legwarmers, singing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” at a school dance and watching St. Elsewhere. Included with registration, guests will enjoy live music from 1980s cover band The Reagan Years, appetizers, and a cash bar while reconnecting with friends and making new ones. 

All-Star Recognition Ceremony

Celebrate the shining stars of funeral service during the All-Star Recognition Ceremony on Monday, October 10. NFDA will recognize funeral homes that earned the 2022 NFDA Pursuit of Excellence Award and NFDA’s Green Funeral Practice Certificate. We’ll also honor those individuals who earned certification through NFDA’s Cremation Certification program; new NFDA Certified Preplanning Consultants; Funeral Service Foundation scholarship and award recipients; 2022-23 National Emerging Leaders Program participants; and APFSP Certified Funeral Service Practitioners (included with registration). 

Service of Remembrance

Every day, our service members selflessly put their lives on the line to keep us safe and protect our freedom. The primary mission of Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations is to fulfill the nation’s sacred commitment of ensuring dignity, honor and respect to the fallen, and care, service and support to their families. During the 2022 Service of Remembrance on Tuesday, October 11, NFDA will explore the customs associated with honoring the lives of our fallen heroes. NFDA will also remember the members of the funeral service community who died during the past year (included with registration).

Funeral Directors Under 40 Party

Attendees won’t want to miss the Funeral Directors Under 40 Party on Tuesday, October 11. After a day at the convention center, attendees can socialize and unwind at Kraken Axes. Guests will enjoy a private arena and dedicated team of axe coaches who will help them stay safe as they attempt to hit the bullseye! This ticketed event includes two drink tickets, heavy hors d’oeuvres and an axe-throwing lesson. 

Closing Celebration

As the NFDA Convention comes to an end, attendees will gather one final time on Wednesday October 12 at the iconic National Aquarium. Ranked as one of the nation’s top three aquariums, guests will enjoy awe-inspiring and award-winning exhibits that are sure to amaze. This ticketed event includes a hosted bar, dinner and access to the aquarium. 

Visiting Baltimore

Baltimore is writing a new chapter in its history, fueled by cultural tastemakers and creative entrepreneurs. Today’s Baltimore is a vibrant community that honors the past while keeping a keen eye on the future. In Charm City, you can see the largest public collection of Matisse in the world (for free!), sip a craft beer in the sanctuary of a converted church and stay in a four-star hotel poised atop an historic recreation pier. 

The Baltimore Convention Center is located in the heart of the bustling Inner Harbor district. After a busy day at the convention center, attendees will love clearing their minds with a stroll along the waterfront promenade and networking over cocktails and bites at one of many restaurants and bars overlooking the water. The hotels along the Inner Harbor are also just steps from performances at Royal Farms Arena and cultural attractions like the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, National Aquarium and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.

Within walking distance of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor attendees will find lively walkable neighborhoods, each with a distinct personality. Head to Fell’s Point for a pint at the pub Edgar Allan Poe liked to visit, sip a cocktail at a swanky speakeasy bar in upscale Harbor East, or check out the renovated public market in historic Federal Hill. 

To help attendees explore this incredible city, NFDA has planned exclusive excursions (tickets required):

  • Discover Annapolis – Get an insider’s look at a beautifully preserved colonial-era city, with history found around every corner; attendees will also enjoy a tour of the “The Yard” at the United States Naval Academy. 
  • Baltimore: Star Spangled City – Discover why the British chose to attack Baltimore during the War of 1812 and the unusual circumstances that led to the birth of our national anthem. 
  • Fell’s Point Ghost Tour – Enjoy a spooky walking tour down centuries-old streets and discover stories of haunts from the American Revolution to the Roaring Twenties.
  • Nevermore Baltimore! – Edgar Allen Poe fans will revel in the chance to first visit his West Baltimore home and the world he inhabited; the tour culminates with a visit to Poe’s grave.
  • My Goodness, My Guinness – Enjoy a guided tour of the only Guinness Brewery in the United States; included is a chance to sample products not available anywhere else.

For those who prefer to plan their own adventure, they can start by visiting www.baltimore.org.

Apply for a Convention Scholarship

The Funeral Service Foundation will award up to 20 scholarships to qualified funeral directors to attend the NFDA Convention. Valued at up to $2,200, the scholarships are open to members and nonmembers, and cover full convention registration fees, three nights of lodging at a convention hotel and travel reimbursement. Learn more and apply online by July 31, www.funeralservicefoundation.org/scholarships

Register and Make Hotel Reservations Today

There is so much waiting for attendees to discover at the 2022 NFDA International Convention & Expo. Attendees should register on or before September 1 to take advantage of early-bird pricing. After September 1, prices will increase by $100. 

Maritz Global Events is the official hotel bureau for the 2022 NFDA International Convention & Expo. Maritz enables attendees to easily compare hotel prices and locations to find the accommodations that best meet their needs. All hotels in NFDA’s room block are less than a five-minute walk to the Baltimore Convention Center. Maritz’s simple booking process – and friendly, helpful staff – will make finding accommodations and managing reservations a breeze. 

The latest information, including information on how to register and make hotel reservations, is available at www.nfda.org/Convention or by calling 800-228-6332.

Health and Safety Measures

NFDA is committed to hosting the safest possible event for attendees and exhibitors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and will follow all current safety measures and guidance. NFDA’s health and safety policies and procedures will be posted on the NFDA website and are subject to change. The most recent version may be found here: www.nfda.org/covid-19-statement. 

Thank You

NFDA thanks its 2022 International Convention & Expo sponsors for their continued support:  

  • Black Diamond: Homesteaders Solutions
  • Platinum: Federated Insurance
  • Titanium: FrontRunner
  • Gold: Batesville, Legacy.com, Physicians Mutual
  • Silver: Thumbies, ASD – Answering Service for Directors, Implant Recycling, Tukios, Ultimate Canine
  • Bronze: NOMIS Publications Inc., Inman Shipping/Travel Plan

About NFDA

NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, with more than 20,000 individual members who represent more nearly 11,000 funeral homes in the United States and 49 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader, beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. NFDA is the association of choice because it offers funeral professionals comprehensive educational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance to become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.nfda.org.


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