Funeral Industry News

Cast Your Vote Now! NFDA Innovation Award Will Be Presented at 2013 Convention

July 15, 2013

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Cast Your Vote Now! NFDA Innovation Award Will Be Presented at 2013 Convention

Innovation abounds in the Expo Hall at the 2013 NFDA International Convention & Expo
Brookfield, Wis. – The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) is looking to funeral service professionals to help select the recipient of the 2013 Innovation Award. Established in 2009, the NFDA Innovation Award recognizes and promotes creativity, innovation and excellence among funeral service suppliers and vendors. The winner will be announced on October 21 during the Opening General Session of the NFDA International Convention & Expo. The NFDA Convention will take placeOctober 20-23 in Austin, Texas.
Earlier this year, funeral service vendors and suppliers had an opportunity to submit a product or service that became commercially available after January 1, 2012, for consideration in the 2013 NFDA Innovation Award competition. A distinguished panel of funeral directors evaluated the 17 entries and selected five finalists:

  • The Dodge Company’s Capture Bead Keepsakes are unique jewelry and keepsake items made from flowers sent to a family for their loved one’s funeral. Flower petals are transformed into elegant and durable beads used to make jewelry and other keepsakes. Capture Bead Keepsakes are available in both contemporary and traditional designs and make for a highly personal and meaningful remembrance of a loved one.
  • DoricLink™ by Doric Products Inc. is the first and currently the only iPad® application for burial vault selection, as well other products offered by Doric. The application enables funeral directors to easily discuss the features and benefits of each Doric product with the families they serve.
  • When funeralOne set out to create mobile phone-friendly funeral home websites, they didn’t simply adapt their existing website templates for smartphones. Instead, they started from scratch and developed f1Connect Mobile Websites to meet the informational needs of consumers who visit funeral home websites on their mobile phones, which are distinct from those who seek information using a desktop computer.
  • LifeArt International’s Online Casket Designer makes it easier and more profitable to serve the cremation casket customers. Using the Online Casket Designer, families can design a unique cremation casket using treasured family photos and other images. Once a family is satisfied with their design, it is sent to LifeArt for manufacture via the funeral home’s online ordering portal.

  • Sculpted In Serenity’s 3D Laser Sculpted Memorial Portraits are three-dimensional, laser sculpted memorial portraits. Using an individual’s photogram, Sculpted In Serenity uses the latest in laser technology to sculpt a detailed likeness onto a beautiful canvas of wood, which is then placed in a wooden frame. In addition to a loved one’s portrait, Sculpted In Serenity can also add a favorite poem, prayer, scripture passage or other text.
Funeral professionals have until September 16 to visit and vote for the product or service they believe is the most innovative of the year. Votes will be combined with the judges’ scores to determine the winner of the 2013 NFDA Innovation Award.
Discover More Innovative Products and Services in the NFDA Expo Hall
The Expo Hall at the 2013 NFDA International Convention & Expo is the world’s largest annual funeral service trade show and features the newest and most exciting products, services and innovations from around the world. The Expo Hall will be open on October 21 and 22 from noon to 5 p.m.; and on October 23, from 9 a.m. to noon.
The International Pavilion is a one-stop international resource in the Expo Hall for finding answers to questions about funeral service around the world, including repatriation. More than a dozen countries and funeral service associations will be represented, making the International Pavilion a must-visit area for anyone who is doing business with funeral directors in other parts of the world or wants to learn more about global funeral customs.
Visit the Cultural Display to learn about the El Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, which is a Mexican national holiday celebrated on November 1 and 2; the Day of the Dead coincides with the Catholic holidays of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. On El Día de los Muertos, family and friends gather to pray for and remember loved ones who have died. Many families build private altars in the home honoring the deceased, which are decorated with sugar skulls, marigolds and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed. Families also visit the graves of loved ones and bring gifts of food, drink and flowers.
View the winners of the first-ever international Design for Death competition, which invited designers, architects, artists and others to rethink and re-imagine the way families might remember the dead. The winners and their unique designs, which combined sensitive interpretations of life and death, grief, relationships and memories with function, style, aesthetics and environmental sustainability, will be on display in the NFDA Expo Hall. More information can be found at
NFDA members will want to learn how they can save time and money by using exclusive products and services from endorsed providers in the Business Solutions booth. Learn about companies such as Bank of America Merchant Services, Director’s Select Retirement Plan, Federated Insurance, The HELPcard, Hunter Warfield, Messenger, PartnerShip Program LLC and more.
NFDA will recognize the funeral service suppliers that have the best booths in the Expo Hall, as determined by attendees’ vote, in the Best of the Booths contest. Attendees will have an opportunity to vote for the booths they think are the most creative, use the best visuals, have the most enthusiastic staff and have the best giveaways. Attendees can pick up a ballot in the Expo Hall. The winners will be announced during the Closing General Session on Wednesday, October 23.
The NFDA International Convention & Expo is the world’s largest gathering of funeral directors and helps attendees achieve more in their businesses. The latest information, including details on how to register for the Convention and reserve hotel rooms, can be found by visiting Those who wish to attend convention can save up to $120 on the registration fee when they register on or before September 16.
The NFDA International Convention & Expo is generously sponsored by Federated Insurance, Frazer Consultants, NGL Insurance Group, Physicians Mutual, Bass-Mollett Publishers, Batesville, Facultatieve Technologies, The HELPCard, Madelyn Company, Messenger, Nomis Publications Inc., Doric, Hunter Warfield, Live Oak Bank, Wilbert, Heaven’s Gate and Global Mortuary Affairs.
NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving 19,700 individual members who represent more than 10,000 funeral homes in the United States and 39 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