It’s that time of year when funeral directors are in event planner mode preparing for their funeral home’s holiday remembrance event. From ordering holiday gifts to promoting your event, there’s a lot to do to create a successful event. With event planning on top of your regular duties as a funeral director, it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks.
To make sure that doesn’t happen to you, we’ve come up with nine quick tips for planning your holiday remembrance event, whether it’s in person, virtual, or both.
1. See What Amenities Your Event’s Location Already Offers
Don’t create more work for your funeral home’s staff if your event location already has the amenities you need. For example, you’ll likely need chairs for your guests to watch the remembrance ceremony. You’ll also need tables if you’re serving food. Before you rent or buy these items, check to see if your event location already provides these items for you. Or if they don’t provide them, they may still be able to recommend a business to rent or buy them from.
2. Order Holiday Gifts for Your Holiday Remembrance Event Attendees
Providing your guests with a holiday gift gives them something special to remember their loved one by. It’s also a way to boost event attendance. For example, one holiday gift idea is a remembrance ornament that families can display on their tree or year-round. You can even incorporate them into your event by displaying them on a tree and letting families grab them afterward.
3. Ask Your Guest Speaker If They Need Any Special Accommodations
If you’re having a guest speaker at your event, ask them if they need any special accommodations. For example, they may need a microphone, computer, or projector depending on the presentation type. You also may want a sample of their presentation materials, so you have a better idea of what their presentation will be like.
4. Write a Brief Schedule of Your Funeral Home’s Event
Creating a brief sample schedule of your event helps you make sure things go smoothly. For example, list the order of your events, such as the reading of the names, songs or readings, and your guest speaker, so you can better plan the timing of your event. You could also print copies of the program for your guests, so they can follow along and know what to expect next.
5. Follow Up with Guests as The Event Date Gets Closer
You’ve probably already sent your invitations by now, but don’t forget to follow up as the date gets closer as a reminder. Depending on how you sent the original invite, send families a brief reminder letter in the mail or an email.
6. Reach Out to Your Local Media Outlets for Event Coverage
Event promotion helps you get the word out about your event to your community. If you haven’t already, write a press release to give to local media outlets. When writing your press release, include the most important information about your event at the top, like the date, time, and location. You also should get a few quotes from your staff members about the event or from families who attended it in the past.
Want some help writing it? Download our free holiday media kit with a press release template.
7. Consider Live Streaming or Recording Your In-Person Event
If you’re planning an in-person holiday remembrance event, consider live streaming or recording your event. This way, it’s available to virtual attendees too, whether families live out of town or for health reasons. If you already have equipment for live streaming funerals, this will work fine, or you can rent or buy video equipment.
8. Create an Audio-Visual Script of Your Virtual Holiday Remembrance Event
On the other hand, if you’re having an all-virtual remembrance event, an audio-visual script can help you plan it. This is simply a breakdown of all the sections of your event and what you’ll see and hear during each part. For example, during the opening of your event, you may want a slideshow with the event title over festive images. For the audio, you could choose a holiday song that reflects on remembrance.
9. Prepare Survey Questions to Get Feedback on Your Event
It’s never too early to start thinking about your post-event tasks. One thing you’ll want to do is get feedback from your guests so you can make next year’s event even better. To make it as easy as possible for families to give feedback, you could send them a brief email survey. Start prepping your questions now, so when the event’s done, your survey is ready to go.
Want even more tips for planning your holiday remembrance event? Download our brand-new guide that covers in-person, virtual, and hybrid holiday event planning.