Holiday remembrance programs serve two important purposes for funeral homes. First, they give you a way to reach out and provide your families with important aftercare resources. The holiday season can be a particularly vulnerable time, as those who grieve may struggle with facing their first holidays without their loved ones and feeling sad while others are celebrating.
However, holiday remembrance programs are also a great idea from a business perspective. Hosting this type of event is a great way to get involved in your community and to get your name noticed by those who may use your services in the future. And if you offer some type of memorial giveaway item like personalized holiday ornaments – which we discuss in more detail in our guide below – you may even be able to generate a small amount of revenue from your service.
Ready to get started with your own holiday remembrance program? Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1 – Select a date and time
To start, pick a date that’s near the holidays, but not so close that you run the risk of overlapping with people’s travel plans. Evening or weekend times work best to prevent family members from having to take off work to attend.
If this is your first time hosting this type of event, consider sending out an early mailing as soon as you’ve set a date and encourage people to RSVP, complemented by a second mailing closer to the actual service. The sooner people start putting the event on their calendars, the sooner you’ll have a good estimate of the number of people that will be attending.
Step 2 – Secure facilities and equipment
Certainly, the easiest place to host your holiday remembrance program is at your funeral home. However, any of the following circumstances may lead you to host your event elsewhere:
- Anticipating a larger crowd than your funeral home can accommodate
- If you want to leave your funeral home’s meeting areas open for potential service needs
- If you suspect you’ll get a larger turnout hosting your event at a neutral location, like a church or community center, than you will at your funeral home
When it comes to reserving space, chairs or other service equipment, do so as early as possible to guarantee their availability during the busy holiday season. Take a few moments to start thinking through whether you’ll need accessories like radios, candles or decorations as well. If you plan to host a reception after your event, you may need to rent food service equipment or reserve a caterer in advance, as they often book up quickly during the holidays.