Contributors Funeral Industry News Ryan Thogmartin

Why The 2012 ICCFA Convention Was The Most Productive Convention I Have Ever Attended

April 9, 2012

Ryan Thogmartin is the CEO of DISRUPT Media | Follower of Christ | Husband | Father | Entrepreneur | Host of #DISRUPTu! and #FUNERALnationtv | Lover of Skittles DISRUPT Media is a social media content agency that focuses on storytelling for funeral companies. We use real stories to build creative strategies that achieve actual business goals.


Why The 2012 ICCFA Convention Was The Most Productive Convention I Have Ever Attended

Over the last 5 years I have been to and exhibited at NFDA 4times, ICCFA 3 times, and the Ohio FDA Convention 5 times. After each show I generally walk away with the same conclusion; good conversation, got to meet a few more people, but was the productiveness of the show enough to offset the expenses.

I battle with feeling like I need to be there to continue to build my brand, if I am not there people are going to think something is wrong? Is being there as an exhibitor paying off? Would I get the same results if I just walked the floor and didn’t exhibit?

The ICCFA convention this year was different. I left this year’s show completely exhausted; I was physically and mentally drained. I didn’t feel like my month or my brain got the chance to shutdown at all during the 3-day exhibit. It was the best feeling I have ever had leaving a convention.
There was something different about this show. I have always felt that the ICCFA show always draws a more progressive and open-minded funeral director but this year that was more evident than ever. I was engaged by so many funeral homes that are so close to fully embracing social media, they are open to new ideas, and they see the over-whelming need to be present where their customer is.

I have read a few reviews from other people in the industry who really down played the quality of the ICCFA this year. They knocked the lack of progressiveness from the vendors and attendees. I did not see this. I feel that both groups have grown to be much more progressive. No, there weren’t any over the top crazy technology laced booths, but we have to remember, this is the ICCFA convention (funeral directors) not the Consumer Electronics Show (techie).

This profession is transforming quickly. Younger funeral directors are taking charge and they realize the need for change. They are starting to understand that their funeral home has to focus on the needs of their customer and not on their own preferences. Welcome to the beginning of the generational shift that will flip this profession upside down.

When my kids do something good, cool, or exciting I like to give them knuckles. So right now I want to send virtual knuckles to the ICCFA for continuing to support and drive evolution and change in this profession. See you next year. Knuckles