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A Recap of CANA’s 2018 Cremation Symposium Connecting the Dots

March 7, 2018

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.


A Recap of CANA’s 2018 Cremation Symposium Connecting the Dots

WHEELING, IL— CANA’s 2018 Cremation Symposium was an informative, education-packed, and fun-filled event. Our return to the delightful Paris Las Vegas was a big hit with CANA’s guests, as attendees were pampered with delicious food and opulent surroundings. This year’s program had a cleverly designed through-line, dominated by the theme of the powerful connections we build with our communities through storytelling.

Always conscious of gathering industry professionals together to maximize everyone’s networking and learning opportunities, CANA kicked off the week with a pre-symposium CE opportunity on Tuesday, February 6, the first-ever CANA Preneed Summit focusing on The Art of Selling Cremation. The full day of information-packed sessions turned out to be an unqualified success.

As with any valuable education and networking event, The Art of Selling Cremation generated excitement and provoked thoughtful engagement among the attendees. The range of marketing strategies, expert explanations and suggestions, and knowledgeable answers to the questions posed by the audience will certainly help them to make practical decisions for how to implement preneed sales into their own businesses.

Glenda Stansbury of InSight Institute masterfully addressed the topic of value vs. price to explain why it’s so vital to explain to the consumer how planning ahead will ensure an optimal experience for the family and friends who remain behind. FSI CEO Bill Williams and death care attorney Wendy Russell Wiener talked about the essentials of administration of preneed programs. With an impressive history of marketing preneed, William Bonacorda was able to share several meaningful tips of the trade. Vinnie Faccinto of Smart Cremation presented a helpful look at the demographics to consider when selling preneed.  Jimmy Lucas and Adam Zalesny drew from personal experience to explain their success at selling preneed across multiple brands. Judy Olson, Jessica Grann of NGL and Lynn Elliott of Media Demographics discussed how to best approach preneed sales online.

At the finish of the day-long programs, summit attendees were invited to mingle with the cremation symposium crowd for cocktails and conversation at the opening reception. They were joined by CANA leaders and supplier members, as everyone navigated the displays in the exhibit hall and engaged in animated conversation about current industry trends and developments.

Over the next two days, a diverse and knowledgeable group of presenters demonstrated why the CANA Symposium is such a popular choice for continuing education among death care professionals. The informative and lively program, emceed this year by CANA board members Vinnie Faccinto and Scott Smith, is notable for its forward-looking approach to addressing the changing cremation market and devising successful strategies for meeting consumer demands in cremation care. Attendees spent quality time with CANA’s exclusive roster of vendors and suppliers to discuss the latest in products and services.

If you want to benefit personally and professionally from the most progressive and useful cremation content out there, be sure to join us for CANA’s 100th Annual Convention this summer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We invite you to combine a luxury resort-style experience with the productive networking and CE you’ll earn at a CANA event. We hope to see you on July 25-27, 2018, for our signature blend of education, networking, and straight-up fun.

About CANA

Founded in 1913, the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) is an international organization of over 3,300 members, composed of funeral homes, cemeteries, crematories, industry suppliers, and consultants. CANA members believe that cremation is preparation for memorialization.