Funeral Industry News

ICCFA 2010 Convention and Exposition Sets Attendance, Both Sales Record

March 31, 2010

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ICCFA 2010 Convention and Exposition Sets Attendance, Both Sales Record

imageThe International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) 2010 Convention & Exposition, March 10-13 in San Antonio, Texas, drew 1,738 total attendance and 369 supplier booths, both all-time high figures for the association’s 123-year history.

Prior to 2010, the ICCFA had consistently drawn its top attendance figures at its Las Vegas Conventions and had seen a drop in numbers when hosting the event in other cities.

“To have set records for attendees and exhibitors for the second straight year speaks volumes about the momentum this association and this Convention are gaining,” said ICCFA President Kevin Daniels, CCE. “And to have done it in a down economy, at a time when the hospitality and trade show industries in general are suffering, is particularly exciting. Program Chair Nancy Lohman and her planning committee deserve a great deal of credit for putting together a slate of educational tracks that addressed the future of this industry and provided a real-world look at the Next Steps companies need to take to succeed in today’s market.”

As part of this year’s Convention, the ICCFA’s Pet Loss Professionals Alliance held its first annual conference, which drew dozens of participants both from pet-only facilities and from traditional cemeteries and funeral homes that are adding pet-loss services to their traditional businesses.

The breakdown for the 2010 attendance numbers is as follows:

Total cemetery, funeral home, crematory and allied business representatives: 819

17 percent representing combination cemetery/funeral home operations

26 percent representing stand-alone cemeteries

31 percent representing stand-alone funeral homes

5 percent representing stand-alone pet loss providers

10 percent mortuary school students

13 percent “other,” including representatives of stand-alone crematories and cremation societies, memorial designers, representatives of industry associations, mortuary school faculty and others

Spouse/guest registrations: 182

Press passes and speakers from outside the industry: 8

Exhibitor and supplier registrations: 729

Attendees classified their positions as follows:

Owners: 43 percent

Managers: 47 percent

Staff: 10 percent

Final purchasing authority: 63 percent

Make purchasing recommendations: 34 percent

No purchasing authority: 3 percent

The Convention hosted 103 international attendees and exhibitors representing 13 countries outside of the United States.

Attendees gave the event excellent evaluations, with 93 percent rating their Overall Convention Experience as “excellent” or “very good” and 86 percent indicating they “definitely” or “probably” will attend the ICCFA 2011 Convention, March 8-11 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Among the comments:

“The best array of speakers and networking I have ever attended. The future of funeral service is in the hands of the ICCFA.” (Anthony Ripepi Jr., A. Ripepi and Sons Funeral Homes, Middleburg Heights, Ohio)

“My first time ever. Went away with valuable information that will hopefully not only position us but make us soar into the next generation.” (Robbie Cody, Constant Companion Pet Funeral Home and Crematory, Cleveland, Tennessee)

“Great array of workshops touching on the various aspects of our industry?new and old.” (James A. DeCastro, Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries, Tucson, Arizona)

“This was my first ICCFA Convention after 15 years in the business. I couldn’t have been more impressed and pleased. Everything was done with excellence, and everything (speakers/products/services) was relevant to our current times. (Michael Brooks, Dempsey Funeral Services, Cartersville, Georgia)

“This was a wonderful experience. I appreciate, as a student, having the opportunity to attend. It was very educational.” (Tammie Jorgensen, San Antonio College, San Antonio, Texas)

Exhibitors rated the overall Exposition an average of 8.3 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Asked about their plans for the 2011 Convention & Exposition, March 8-11 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, 86 percent indicated they planned to exhibit, 14 percent were undecided and only one indicated they would not exhibit.