Scanning for CE Has Never Been Easier!

This year, if you want CE credit for the workshops and events you attend, you must download the NFDA app! Once downloaded, simply scan the QR code on your way out of each workshop or event. App sponsored by Tribute Technology.

Watch for more information on how to get and use the app as we get closer to Convention.

All times shown are Central Time.

NFDA does not endorse and is not responsible for views expressed by the speakers.
Workshop recordings will be available for purchase in the NFDA store.


7:30 – 9:00 a.m. | Special Event

Lasting Legacies 5K Run/Walk Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Cemetery

5100 Pontchartrain Blvd., New Orleans

Coaches depart for the 5K at 6:15 a.m. 

Lace up those running shoes for a unique networking event that can only happen at the Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Cemetery. As you circle the track on the beautiful grounds of this historic cemetery, let your steps resonate with reverence for the past and appreciation for fellow striders who selflessly care for others every single day. 

Separate registration required

Register for this session as part of your convention registration.
Cost: $50 per person.

Register online until the day of the event or onsite at the 5K site. Proceeds benefiting: Save Our Cemeteries. A local organization championing the education and repair of many New Orleans historical cemetery properties.

Register for 5K

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. | Workshops (1 CE hour)

The Consumer’s Journey to Purchasing Funeral Services: A Marketing Roadmap for Growing Market Share and Revenue

Bill A. Johnston
President | Post and Boost

***Repeat from Monday***
Today’s consumers are exposed to thousands of messages daily. How can your funeral home ensure that your message rises to the top and resonates with families in need? In this session, you will discover how to create effective, targeted marketing plans that go well beyond “positive word of mouth.”

Remember that funeral homes are, at their core, retail businesses. Just like furniture stores in the 1800s that also offered caskets and undertaking services, funeral homes fulfill a specific consumer need. The key to effective marketing is to understand your customers and build relationships to satisfy their needs over time. We’ll focus on how consumers think and how the subconscious mind comes into play. Strategic planning will ensure that your funeral home will be the one they turn to in their time of greatest need. (1 CE hour)

Funeral Rule Update

Compliance & Legal
Chris Farmer
General Counsel | NFDA

Learn the top Funeral Rule compliance issues and the steps your funeral home can take to avoid FTC Funeral Rule violations. Hear the latest information on the FTC review of the Funeral Rule which kicked off at the beginning of 2020 as well as a discussion of how the review process will play out. (1 CE hour)

Introduction to Advanced Reconstructive Surgery Techniques

Embalming and Restorative Art
Michelle Johnston
Owner | Johnston Embalming & Reconstructive Institute

This intensive technical seminar will equip you with the skills and knowledge to confidently handle even the most challenging situations in the embalming room. We’ll explore innovative postmortem surgical techniques for bone and soft tissue repair and you’ll learn new waxing methods for soft tissue. Additional topics include cleaning discolored fingernails, hands and arms, tips for applying airbrush cosmetics and cranial repair using plaster of paris.

We’ll also discuss the importance of acquiring proper legal authorizations prior to restoration and outline sensitive communication strategies for families. Finally, you’ll gain practical tips for managing arrangement logistics when time is needed for adequate repair. 

Whether you are an experienced or novice embalmer you’ll leave feeling confident and equipped to handle anything; Michelle’s personal mission statement is, “SOMETHING – Is possible if you’re willing to TRY.” (1 CE hour)

8:00 – 10:00 a.m. | Workshops (2 CE hours)

Confronting Suicide Within the Deathcare Professions

Grief & Bereavement
Sara Murphy, PhD, FT
Death Educator, Fellow in Thanatologist, and Suicidologist

Little to no public discussion or education has specifically addressed the risk of suicide for professionals working within the deathcare professions. Given the unique nature of the high-stress work undertaken by deathcare professionals as well as the historic silence around suicide within the profession, it is crucial that professionals can both give and receive the supports they and their colleagues need to recognize suicide risk and employ prevention and intervention practices. Dr. Murphy will focus on (1) differentiating between myths and realities of suicidality; (2) recognizing suicide risk within deathcare professions as well as traditional barriers to validating risk; and (3) developing helpful, research-supported responses to prevent suicide death loss within the profession. (2 CE hours)

Navigating the Future: Understanding the “Zero Consumer”

Consumer Care
Georganne Bender
Partner | Kizer & Bender Speaking!

Meet the “Zero Consumer” and rethink everything you thought you knew about your customers! This new breed of consumer operates without boundaries, fueled by a diverse range of influences that include social media, blogs, videos, websites, apps, newsletters, celebrities, community engagement and more. You’ll learn the unique characteristics of Zero Consumers, the impact of digital channels in their decision-making process, the power of options and how to provide a multitude of choices, the challenges posed by zero loyalty, how to build meaningful connections, how to navigate a multichannel landscape and optimize your presence, plus the insights necessary to effectively engage and serve this mercurial consumer. If you seek to adapt, evolve and thrive in an era where traditional customer behavior models are becoming obsolete, this is the seminar for you! (2 CE hours)

9:15 – 10:15 a.m. | Workshops (1 CE hours)

Change Your Thought Process In The Preparation Room

Embalming and Restorative Art
Karl Wenzel, CFSP
Founder | Genelyn North America
Courtney G. Baloney
Owner | Treasurers of Life Funeral Home

***Repeat from Monday***
We will delve into the mindset of the embalmer and their perceptions of possibility. We’ll explore the selection of chemicals tailored to specific cases, and the practical implications they hold, not only for the remains being treated but also for the embalmer themselves. Through examining challenging cases, we’ll learn systematic approaches to achieve the necessary results for meeting families’ viewing expectations. Let’s explore equipment, chemicals, and the thought processes necessary for success, not only within the preparation room but also within the profession as a whole. (1 CE hour)

Meeting your Families’ Diverse Needs

Consumer Care
Jonathan Heider Laedtke
Workshop Facilitator | Split Star

As a funeral director, you play a vital role in ensuring that families of all backgrounds feel understood and supported during a difficult time. In this session, led by a certified sensitivity trainer and accessibility advocate, we’ll explore cultural diversity, gender diversity and disability awareness. You’ll discover that even small adjustments and thoughtful details can make a significant impact on families; sometimes it’s just a case of going the extra mile. Our ultimate goal is to provide a compassionate and supportive experience that assures a lasting relationship with all families. (1 CE hour)

Federal Policy and Politics What It Means for Funeral Service and You

Business Operations
Lesley Witter
Senior Vice President, Advocacy | NFDA

As the federal elections loom, it’s crucial to recognize the potential implications for the funeral service industry. The outcomes could significantly shape future legislative and regulatory measures, directly impacting your business operations and the profession. Looking ahead to 2025, anticipate a dynamic landscape in Washington D.C. where staying informed and engaged with NFDA’s federal lobbyist will be more important than ever. Join Lesley for an insightful overview of the current and anticipated federal legislative and regulatory issues, ensuring you remain well-equipped to navigate the evolving challenges and opportunities ahead. (1 CE hour)

Addressing Quiet Quitting, Disengagement and Resignations

Business Operations
Dr. Allen Lycka

**Repeated on Wednesday**

In today’s competitive landscape, companies are struggling with disengaged employees, high turnover and a rise in “quiet quitting.” Traditional actions such as increased compensation and remuneration don’t seem to work. In this session, we’ll explore a new approach to increasing employee engagement and reigniting your team. (1 CE hour)

Using Allen’s unique mindset methodology and his practical 5-step strategy, we will: 

  1. Delve into the root causes of disengagement and employee turnover.
  2. Learn about the power of happiness training in improving overall workplace culture.
  3. Discover the correlation between employee happiness and your funeral home’s profitability.

End Well Together

Consumer Care
J.J. Duncan
Television Producer, Writer, Advocate
Hui-Wen Sato
Pediatric ICU Nurse
Darnell Walker
Television Writer and Death Doula

**Repeated on Wednesday**
End Well is a nonprofit dedicated to the belief that all people should experience the end of life in a way that matches their values and goals. Through events and resources, End Well has created a growing global community where conversations around end of life, grief, loss and caregiving lead to transformative impact. We’ll hear from three of the speakers from 2023’s End Well event as they share their personal stories that have universal resonance. We will also discuss the natural synergies between funeral service professionals and the End Well movement. Join us for meaningful end of life conversations and discover the impact of not only living life to the fullest but planning positively for the end. (1 CE hour)

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Special Event

Service of Remembrance

When someone dies in New Orleans, a traditional New Orleans funeral service might begin with a slow march from the deceased’s home to the church or funeral home. During the march, a horse-drawn hearse might carry the casket, accompanied by a brass band playing somber dirges and hymns. This year’s NFDA Service of Remembrance will incorporate these traditions while honoring the memory of funeral service family members who died during the past year.

Regions Funeral & Cemetery Trusts Johnson - Plan for Success Partner with Foresight Burn Bamboo - Not Cash

12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Expo Hall

Expo Hall

The world’s largest funeral exposition is an adventure in itself! Leading suppliers will offer the latest products and services – along with exclusive offers – in the NFDA Expo Hall.

12:30 – 2:00 p.m. | Conversation Cafés (1.5 CE hours)

The Impact of Vicarious Trauma on Funeral Directors

Compliance & Legal
Kristina Rose
OVC Director | Office for Victims of Crime
Angela Moreland, PhD
Associate Professor | National Mass Violence Center I National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center

Vicarious trauma is an occupational challenge for funeral directors and other individuals working in the funeral services profession, due to their continuous exposure to victims of trauma and violence. Reactions to trauma exposure can include disruptions in thinking and changes in beliefs about one’s sense of self, one’s safety in the world, and the goodness and trustworthiness of others; as well as shifts in spiritual beliefs. Individuals may also exhibit symptoms that can have detrimental effects, both professionally and personally. This session will further define vicarious trauma, walk participants through OVC’s Vicarious Trauma Toolkit, and offer information about how to become a trauma-informed organization. 

Hospitality Conversation Café

Consumer Care

A panel of experts discuss hospitality in funeral service.

TBD | NFDA Tailgate Lounge Exchange

Funeral Face-Off

2024_Funeral Face Off Logo-1

Monday, October 21 - Wild Card Round
Tuesday, October 22 - Championship Round

If you’re a fan of pub trivia, you’ll want to participate in this year’s Funeral Face-off - NFDA’s ultimate funeral service trivia challenge. Three-person teams will compete against each other during preliminary rounds this summer. The action then heats up on the Expo Hall floor for the Wild Card and Championship rounds. If you want to test your funeral knowledge for prizes, bragging rights, and convention trivia immortality, then start assembling your team today and sign up soon. Questions are provided by the American Board of Funeral Service Education. Participate or cheer on the teams at this year’s convention! 

Separate registration required

Sign up to participate in this year’s Funeral Face-Off by August 12.

Sign up to participate
Sponsored by

12:30 – 4:00 p.m. | Special Event

Louisiana Flatboat Swamp Tour

Explore Louisiana's swamps and waterways and learn the history of the bayous. This unique ecosystem is home to alligators, wild pigs, raccoons, more than 200 bird species, and more!

Separate registration required
Register Now

5:30 – 7:30 p.m. | Special Event

Funeral Professionals - Young and New New Orleans' Original True Crime Tour – Sinister Criminal Intentions

Curious about the darker facets of humanity? In the heart of the French Quarter, where jazz notes mingle with the scent of magnolias, lie secrets etched in blood. New Orleans, soulful and charming, has always harbored a seedy underbelly. From its origins as a refuge for the downtrodden – those released from poorhouses and prisons, seeking a fresh start – to the present day, where unspeakable acts continue to unfold, New Orleans wears its scars.

Join us as we pass historic buildings that hold more than architectural beauty. These walls whisper of violence, betrayal and the desperate cries of victims. The shadows deepen, revealing tales of passion, revenge and the macabre. As the sun sets, the past awakens, and you'll find yourself immersed in a chilling narrative – one that transcends time and leaves an indelible mark on your soul. 

Separate registration required

Register for this session as part of your convention registration.
Cost: $75 per person before September 9, $125 per person after Septemeber 9.

You may also register onsite at one of the registration desks.

6:30 - 8:00 p.m. | Special Event

International Reception

Hilton New Orleans Riverside
Two Poydras Street, St. Charles Room, Third Floor

Members attending the convention from outside the U.S. are invited to join NFDA President Dutch Nie and members of the NFDA Board of Directors for a private reception.

This special event is by invitation only. Please sign up in advance.

Sponsored by