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What to Expect: CANA’s Virtual Convention

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Updated: Monday, August 3, 2020
What to Expect: CANA’s Virtual Convention


With the many layers of travel restrictions in place now to support public safety efforts, CANA is taking you where no cremation professional has ever gone before – to a completely virtual convention!

But what does that mean? And what can you expect from this virtual experience? Fortunately, we’ve been able to re-create many of your favorite parts of the Convention in this new meeting space.

Here's a downloadable and printable Quick Reference Guide. If you're already registered, keep an eye out for an email with your convention credentials from CANA's 102nd Cremation Innovation Convention <> to make sure you're in the right place at the right time. If you're not already registered, what are you waiting for?!

Now, let’s take a look:

Enter the Lobby

Just like you get your bearings at the registration desk at a CANA Convention, the Lobby is the place where you’ll start when you log in. You’ll have some pop-ups here with recommendations on how to make the most of your experience: using Google Chrome as your internet browser, connecting on a laptop or desktop, enabling notifications from the platform, connecting your microphone and camera. Say yes without any fear that this will follow you around – no one but CANA will send a notification and they’ll all be event-related. If your window looks a bit strange, try zooming your browser out in your settings.

And you’re in! A video will welcome you and a public chat will show you who else is in the lobby so you can re-connect with your colleagues from far away. A posted schedule will keep you on track (remember, all times default to US Central Time so translate as appropriate), with announcements reminding you where to go next.

To the left, like rooms branching off, you’ll see a list of destinations for your trip:

Sessions, Exhibit Hall, and Networking.

Join the Conversation

You’ll find public chat rooms like the one on the right in all areas of the platform. Just like you never know who you’ll bump into on the Convention floor, you’ll be able to talk to anyone visiting the room, booth, and session you’re in. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and let people know who you are – only other people registered for the event can see what you say here.

Make sure that your profile is accurate by reviewing your Account. Include your photo so people recognize you (we recommend a 200x200 jpg, square dimensions work best).

Catch the Speaker Presentations

Sessions is your doorway to all of the great content CANA has planned. Add the sessions to your schedule to be sure you get reminders when it’s starting – remember all times default to US Central Time (that's where CANA's HQ is) so you may need to translate. Locate the upcoming presentation from the list of sessions and start the Zoom event from your window (you may have to answer a CAPTCHA, so don’t miss any of those stoplights or you might miss out on some great ideas!).

Our speakers were chosen for their talent and expertise at delivering fantastic ideas in an online format. Like striking up a conversation with your neighbor, there’s a public chat here, too, to share ideas with your colleagues and ask questions of the presenter live.

Your seat is the best one in the house, but you won’t be glued to it – CANA knows that staring at a computer screen too long is draining, so we’ve built in breaks and activities along the way to keep you energized and engaged.

Log Your CE

Once you’ve been watching the presentation for a little bit, a pop-up will ask you if you need continuing education credits for your license. And yes, it will do it every time. Be sure to say yes if you do, and we’ll automatically email you your transcript of all of the presentations that you attended for your records. Watch the video below for to see how to record your attendance.

Attending with Colleagues

These events are more fun with friends. If your whole team registered, you can re-create some of that in-person feeling by attending together. The easiest way to do that is to watch the presentations together, submitting your group's questions and comments from one user. But remember, if you and your colleagues need CEUs or want a chance to win in the Scavenger Hunt, everyone needs to log in individually, from their own computers so they don't miss those important pop-ups. Plus, you don't want to miss those one-on-one connections with your colleagues from across the nation.

Visit the Trade Show

The Exhibit Hall is where innovations meet solutions. Like you, suppliers of goods and services have been stuck at home, finding new ways to do things we never had to think about doing before. If you have a challenge, chances are one of these companies can meet it. Visit the booths, read the descriptions, and watch their videos to learn more about the company.

Look for that public chat on the right side – it’s a great kind of users group to learn more about the challenges and solutions that businesses like yours can use. Plus, many booths have open group video chats to see demos, chat with the staff and other users, and more at the link in their public chat.

Two things a virtual convention couldn’t re-create? The miles you walk in your less-than-comfortable professional shoes and the confusing labyrinth of booth maps. Now, the worst you’ll get is a finger tired of scrolling through the more than 60 registered booths – alphabetized so you can find exactly the supplier you want with a click of a mouse. Zip right to that business and connect! When you enter a booth, scroll to the bottom and you’ll see a list of people staffing it, simply click a name and start a private chat with them.

The video below was made so that our exhibitors have their booths ready and waiting for attendees, but we'll let you take a look so you know what to expect in the exhibit hall.

Rack Up Points

As you explore the CANA Convention and Trade Show, you’ll have opportunities to earn points in our Scavenger Hunt. Network with our Secret Code Bearers, listen closely to the presentations, but mostly visit exhibitor booths and collect codes that track your activities. Simply enter these codes in the Gamification pop-up, and watch your rank increase (check out the video below for a walkthrough on our platform). Be one of the highest scoring participants and you have a chance to win a prize delivered to your door!

Network with Colleagues

CANA’s 102nd Convention and Trade Show is shaping up to be our biggest yet! That means that the Networking section is filled to bursting with friends, colleagues, strangers, future bosses, former employees, etc.

This is the spot for connecting one-on-one. Scroll through the list of registrants, and find those people you want to connect with – check out the video below for a quick peek!
NOTE: no, we can’t tell if they’re logged in, or if they’re already in a conversation, but you can always leave them a note by clicking Start a Chat. They’ll be notified about it when they’re available.

If you’ve been chatting with someone one-on-one, you can take it to the next level and start a video chat. Simply tap “Start a Video Chat” and enable your camera and microphone. Your chat partner will be notified you picked up your end of the call and can join you with a quick click. Check out the video below for a quick walkthrough.

Do It All!

Think you’re ready for the big time?

Much like you yourself can only be in one place at a time, when you visit a new room, booth, or start a new conversation in the Virtual Convention, you leave where you were. However, power users can copy and paste the Virtual Event URL to a second (or third, or fourth…) tab or window of their browser to visit booths and network, or hold public and private chats, or anything you can dream of!

Get Technical Support

This is new to everyone, but CANA Staff are standing by to help ease your way. If you get stuck, you can find a chat widget in CANA-gold in the lower left corner – type in your question and someone will answer. Or find a Staff member in the Networking section, any one of us can help you out. Or maybe you just want to talk it through, in which case, CANA’s phone lines are open and waiting: 312-245-1077.


We can’t wait to welcome you with a handshake and a hug in Seattle next year. But until then, we’re excited to connect with you at a safe social distance with CE you need, ideas to inspire, and connection you crave.

Join us virtually:

CANA is meeting cremation, cemetery, and funeral professionals where they are – serving their communities safely through online platforms. Exhibits, networking, education, and fun packed into two days at CANA’s Virtual Convention and Trade Show. See what you’re missing by not registering at

Tags:  events 

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