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CANA’s 100th Annual Cremation Innovation Convention: A Peek into the Next 100 Years

Tuesday, July 31, 2018  
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Contact: Jennifer Head
Phone: (312) 245-1077
499 Northgate Parkway
Wheeling, IL 60090-2646

CANA’s 100th Annual Cremation Innovation Convention: A Peek into the Next 100 Years

WHEELING, IL—Over 300 people gathered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida July 25 – 27, 2018 for the Cremation Association of North America’s (CANA’s) 100th Annual Cremation Innovation Convention. While it was certainly a time of celebration—we’ve been doing this for over one hundred years, after all—the convention also provided the opportunity to look at what the next 10, 50 and even 100 years holds in store for cremation. Thanks to the twenty-three sponsors of this year’s convention, attendees enjoyed amazing food and great atmosphere while networking throughout the event.

Forward Thinking Content

After Jason Engler, CANA’s Cremation Historian, reminded us how far we’ve come and how the industry has changed, it was time to turn our attention to the future and what it will take to continue to serve families in this consumer-driven hurdle of constantly evolving preferences. Attendees were asked to participate in the creation of a time capsule by writing down their thoughts on what cremation innovation will look like 100 years from now. The collection of thoughts will be bound into a book, combined with pictures from the event, and placed in a vault to be housed at the Cremation Exhibit at the National Museum of Funeral History.

After a review of marketing best practices by Joe Weigel, a panel of state and provincial regulators from Nevada, Alabama, Florida and Saskatchewan convened to talk about how current trends are impacting the regulation of funeral homes, crematories and cemeteries. The Cremation Fundamentals Panel talked about customer service best practices, owning and operating a pet crematory, and the importance of using competencies throughout our business.

Ending the first day, local Florida innovators Rick Baldwin and John McQueen co-presented a panel on how to successfully sell cremation across multiple brand segments in a high cremation market. The practical takeaways and sound business advice were well-received by attendees, many of whom are moving to follow a similar strategy.

The second day kicked off with a focus on correctly using statistics to make business decisions, presented by Bob Boetticher, Jr. John Bolton and Lori Salberg closed the conference by focusing on two key strategies for future success—having a cremation strategy and a customer experience strategy for top-notch service. Together, these three pieces of the overall business strategy will ensure continued relevance and success.

The Latest in Cremation Products

CANA’s convention included a diverse range of sixty-four suppliers—from vault, casket, cremator, urn and keepsake manufacturers to vendors who provide banking, architectural, technology, and office services—all showcasing the latest products and innovations. Because CANA’s attendees are the owners and managers, sales abounded in the exhibit area.

The Next Stop

Couldn’t join us this year? Save the date for CANA’s 2019 convention. We’ll be in Louisville, KY July 30 – August 2, 2019 at the brand-new Omni Hotel.

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.