Leverage the 5th Annual Before I Die Festival as a Community Outreach Opportunity

Community Outreach Funeral Industry News GROW September 29, 2021
Before I Die

Leverage the 5th Annual Before I Die Festival as a Community Outreach Opportunity

Gail Rubin, also known as the Doyenne of Death®, gets excited when she talks about her upcoming Before I Die Festival. It’s not just because of the lineup studded with stars from deathcare and complementary professions. Nor is it about the opportunity to once again engage in face-to-face (if masked) conversations after a year of virtual-only interactions.

For Rubin, the main reason she’s toiling tirelessly to bring the Before I Die Festival to life for its fifth year is to get people — your potential families — to think about how they’d like to live fully and be prepared before they die.

“I want people to learn all the things they should know before anybody gets sick or dies,” Rubin says, “and know the right questions to ask about planning ahead.”

Best of both worlds

This year’s version of the four-day festival, which is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, offers both in-person and virtual events. From October 30 through November 2, the festival offers participants virtual death cafe conversations, hands-on activities, panel discussions, and much more. 

This is in addition to an impressive slate of guests speaking on the death-positive topics your families need to explore, including:

  • Estate documents, property distribution, and downsizing,
  • Going through a loved one’s possessions,
  • Medical surrogacy,
  • Body and organ/tissue donation,
  • The unspoken symptoms of grief,
  • Excellent obituary writing,
  • Behind the scenes in the prep room,
  • Creating a digital legacy, and even
  • “The Woo-Woo Side of Death” (presented by a renowned psychic).

View the full schedule of events here.

Rubin adds another dimension to the in-person Before I Die experience by partnering with local funeral homes and cemeteries for on-site events and tours. 

“Rather than hold the in-person events at a hotel,” Rubin explains, “I hold them in the reception center at a funeral home. That gets people to the funeral home for something other than a funeral. Our partner funeral homes recognize the benefit of being involved with this.”

Host your own Before I Die Festival simulcast!

Although Rubin designed the Before I Die event for consumers, she is in no way trying to move in on your deathcare territory. As a Certified Thanatologist, her goal is to help folks become more comfortable with death, with you, and with what you can do for them.

“I am a bridge between the general public and the funeral industry,” she says. “I’m not a funeral director. I’m a death educator.”

To further that goal, Rubin is encouraging funeral homes and cemeteries across the country to use the 5th Annual Before I Die Festival as an opportunity to educate and perhaps introduce yourself to folks in your own community. 

“Hosting the virtual events and inviting the public to come and join in is a great opportunity for funeral homes, wherever you are,” Rubin says. “Even if you don’t have a reception center, holding it in the chapel is perfectly acceptable. Most have the capability right there.”

A winning proposition

If your current caseload or other factors won’t accommodate promoting and hosting your own simulcast, another outreach option is to communicate the virtual Before I Die Festival option to your prospect list or community at large. If folks from your area sign up online, Rubin will share those contacts with you for follow up. Your community’s participation is a win-win for everyone.

“So many people are intimidated by funeral directors, not knowing that, in my mind, funeral directors are some of the kindest, funniest people I’ve ever met,” Rubin says. “When people have a death in the family, they’re emotionally overwrought. They’re distressed. And funeral directors have to deal with that all the time. So my goal is to get people to meet with funeral directors before anyone dies. That’s the time you can make decisions and learn what you need to know and become an informed consumer.”

To learn more about the 5th Annual Before I Die Festival and how you can leverage the event to your community’s benefit, please contact Gail Rubin as soon as possible via email at gail@agoodgoodbye.com or call (505) 265-7215 (office) or (505) 363-7514 (mobile).