Archive for October, 2008

“Brides and Death! That’s what keeps us in Business!”- Part I

Hysterical laughter came over the phone when I introduced the to one of the nicest hotels in the Puget Sound region. “Brides and death! That’s what keeps us in business!” the woman laughed. It was a no-brainer for them to purchase a listing in our local funeral planning guide.

What are the two biggest rituals we have? Weddings and funerals. Why are weddings such a production with every little detail personally considered and funerals lock-stock-and-barrel passed off to a stanger to  arrange for us? Often with limited options. “Would you like Plan A or Plan B?”

Why are we so caught off guard by death? We’re all going to die. This is not news to anyone.

Why not have a plan for what you’d like for your memorial gathering? I want to scream. THIS IS IMPORTANT! It’s important to acknowledge the significance of a single human life of someone we loved.  This is why I wrote MY FUNERAL ‘s nifty, free, on-line funeral planning tool. Don’t let someone else make your memorial a cookie-cutter, fill-in-the-blank event.  You owe it to yourself and to those who love you.

This is the first in a series of posts on the parallels between weddings and funerals from an event planning perspective.  Stay tuned!  – Anna


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The “Celebration of Life Luncheon Package”

Something is happening out there in the event planning world.

Hotels, reception sites and banquet halls are starting to create packages that target memorial events.

This week, while working on our upcoming, I spoke with a woman who manages a banquet hall in LA.  It was clear from their website that they do a lot of weddings, like exclusively weddings. In fact I think the place is called, “The Wedding Banquet Hall” or something like that.

(It’s always kind of comical when I call and ask the wedding halls if they ever do funerals. Often people ask me, “What did you say!”. I’ve learned to prepare them, by first saying, “I’m not calling about a wedding. . .  I’m calling about funerals.”)

Anyway,  I asked this woman if they ever did memorials? “Yes we do! We have the Celebration of Life Luncheon Package!” she responded. Who would have guessed? Their website is all brides and cake. No mention of memorials anywhere.

She explained that two years ago a friend suggested they try to reach into the funeral market. She wasn’t enthusiastic about the idea, but came up with a special package for memorials that occur daytime and mid-week. Hence the birth of the “Celebration of Life Luncheon Package”. 

She reported that it’s really taken off. She was surprised by their success and said that it’s become a stable and substantial revenue source for them.

I wonder how they’re marketing the package?

One problem for reception site & venues who want to explore providing service for people planning memorials is how do you get the word out that your facility is ready, willing and able to host these events?  Our cultural taboos on the subject of death & funerals, I guess, make marketing funeral services challenging.  Of course, one solution to this marketing dilemma is a listing in our local funeral guides.

Our local funeral planning guides are breaking ground. I see our local funeral planning guides as, frankly, revolutionary. We’re taking the conversation to the people by opening up possibilities for them to consider and take steps to actually accomplish.

Our tag line is: Make it Personal. Explore Options. Find Providers. We’ll give you the ideas and the means to accomplish those ideas. We only have two guides up now with LA on the way. So I feel like now we’re only helping people in the Puget Sound region and Bay Area explore funeral options and find providers with our and Soon we’ll get the information to the people of LA. And then . . . the world.  – AC

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