Funeral Industry News

ICCFA 2011 Convention and Expo Draws Record Attendance

April 6, 2011
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ICCFA 2011 Convention and Expo Draws Record Attendance

For the third year in a row, the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) Annual Convention & Exposition set new attendance and exhibit records. The 2011 Convention, held March 8-11 in Las Vegas, Nevada, drew 1,976 total attendance and 408 supplier booths, both all-time high figures for the association’s 124-year history.

The breakdown for the 2011 attendance numbers is as follows:

ï Total cemetery, funeral home, crematory and allied business representatives: 898

ï 18 percent representing combination cemetery/funeral home operations

ï 25 percent representing stand-alone cemeteries

ï 36 percent representing stand-alone funeral homes

ï 5 percent representing stand-alone pet loss providers

ï 16 percent “other,” including representatives of stand-alone cremation societies, insurance agents, mortuary school faculty, representatives of industry associations and others

ï Spouse/guest registrations: 232

ï Press passes and speakers from outside the industry: 13

ï Exhibitor and supplier registrations: 833

Attendees classified their positions as follows:

ï Owners: 46 percent

ï Managers: 44 percent

ï Staff: 10 percent

ï Final purchasing authority: 65 percent

ï Make purchasing recommendations: 32 percent

ï No purchasing authority: 3 percent

The Convention hosted 163 international attendees and exhibitors representing 22 countries outside of the United States.

Attendees rated the event highly, with 88 percent indicating their overall Convention experience was “excellent” or “very good” and 85 percent indicating they “definitely” or “probably” will return for the ICCFA 2012 Convention, March 19-22 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Among the comments:

ï “I didn’t think you would be able to top the 2010 Convention in San Antonio, but you managed to do so! It was an overwhelmingly positive experience filled with learning and networking.” Norman E. Connors – Curran-Shaffer Funeral Home & Crematory Inc., Apollo, Pennsylvania

ï “The exhibit hall this year was phenomenal! There were so many quality vendors to talk to–if you did not learn something new or get your questions answered, you were not trying!” Joe Vermeersch – Mt. Elliott Cemetery Association, Detroit, Michigan

ï “This was the first time I attended the ICCFA Annual Convention. My wife and I were really impressed with the variety of educational seminars and exhibits. We’ll definitely be coming back to attend future conferences. We had a really great time and walked away with a wealth of information.” Chris B. Miller – Thomas Miller Mortuary, Corona, California

ï “Wonderful convention. Quality in every detail: site, program, exhibit hall, food! This is an organization that really sees the future of death care in America and is ready for it!” Mitch Hoyles – Northcoast Crematory Service and Robinson-Walker Funeral Home, Genoa, Ohio

ï “Keep the momentum going with great keynote speakers and compelling breakout sessions! Loved how the exhibits and the general session area were situated together. Loved that the memorial service was considered an important aspect of our convention program and not an afterthought.” Nancy Lohman – Lohman Funeral Homes, Cemeteries and Cremation, Daytona Beach, Florida

ï “I thought the conference offered a lot of variety in topics–very good. Great keynote speakers! The number of vendors attending was incredible.” Steve Bartel – East Lawn, Sacramento, California

Exhibitors rated the overall Exposition an average of 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. Asked about their plans for the 2012 Convention & Exposition, March 19-22 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, 87 percent indicated they “definitely” planned to exhibit, 10 percent were undecided and only 3 percent indicated they did not plan to exhibit.

Founded in 1887, the ICCFA is the only international trade association representing all segments of the cemetery, cremation, funeral and memorialization profession. Its membership is composed of more than 7,500 cemeteries, funeral homes, crematories, memorial designers and related businesses worldwide.