A match made in heaven: What can funeral directors learn from event planners?
How to celebrate.
Funeral directors can get into the drudgery of routine, and that attitude shows in their work. Event planners have a different perspective because each of their events is a different kind of celebration. Are we, as funeral directors, focused on celebrating?
A well-executed funeral feels like a celebration of life and honors a person recently passed on by showcasing their personality and achievements. The focus is on life, not death. Event planners spend time and effort interviewing their clients, building relationships with them, and then observing and understanding who they really are and what they really want. Though this is more difficult for funeral directors (as our true client, the deceased, can’t exactly voice their own opinions), research is still the key to a truly celebratory service.
How to outsource.
Event planners have a web of local contacts and vendors that they use on a consistent basis. They spend time and money finding quality providers and then they stay loyal to that company by delegating part of the event to them. How many small, local businesses do you employ for a typical funeral?
One thing that really sets event planning companies apart from other event planning companies is the vendors that agree to work with them. No two weddings are exactly the same because of this outsourcing model. Funeral directors often feel like they have to provide each and every element themselves, or else they get too comfortable with a vendor that is mediocre because it’s easy. Mix it up! Find new businesses who have creative ideas and employ them to help your funeral home stand out as unique and desirable.
How to sweat the small stuff.
I’ve never known an event planner who didn’t have incredible attention to detail. Funeral directors could learn so much by just observing an event planner doing a final walk through. I’ve watched event planners walk down the aisle before the bridal guests arrive with tiny nail clipping scissors shaping floral arrangements, tucking ribbon ends, and adjusting candles ever so slightly.
The small details of an event are really what cement the whole thing together. Take the lead from event planners and plan a color scheme, create a mood board, and do a final walk through with a dust cloth for fingerprints and a spray bottle for flowers—you may be surprised how impactful those details can be.
How to create an atmosphere.
Any event planner up to snuff imagines the space they have to work with like a stage that they are setting and dressing. They picture the event from the eyes of a guest and create an experience, not decorate a room.
Funerals have the potential to be moving, positive and memorable experiences for all those who attend. Have you ever thought about your event from the eyes of a random guest? What about through the eyes of the person you’re honoring? Every angle, every second, every sound and smell and taste should work together to create a cohesive atmosphere of celebration and respect.