Sep 27, 2014
Every year, funeral professionals set aside time from their hectic schedules to attend the National Funeral Directors Convention. For many directors, a trip to the NFDA Convention may be the only opportunity to take a vacation. ASD is proud to be an official exhibitor sponsor of the convention this year. It is a truly special event that combines fun and sightseeing with informative educational sessions and networking opportunities. Without a doubt, the NFDA is the highlight of the year for many in the funeral profession.
This year’s convention will be held at the Music City Center in Nashville, TN. By selecting a location in the city “that music calls home”, the NFDA is helping funeral directors to discover a live music experience unlike anywhere else in the world. And that’s not all that Nashville offers. ASD researched the most popular sites in Nashville along with NFDA’s full lineup of workshops and convention activities. We are pleased to provide you with this fun and informative guide to the seminars, events and attractions that you won’t want to miss this year.
Here is Your Complete Guide to The 2014 NFDA Convention.
1. WORKSHOP: Transparency and Social Media: Creating an Ethical Edge for Your Firm
Social media allows funeral home owners to communicate and truly engage with their communities. Many funeral directors are familiar with the popular blog, Confessions of a Funeral Director, created by Funeral Director, Caleb Wilde, of Wilde Funeral Home in Parkesburg, PA. As the first guest on Funeral Pro Chat, Caleb shared how remaining open with his readers has helped him to inspire meaningful discussions with his blog followers. In his first NFDA workshop, Caleb explains how the transparency of social media allows for a type of self- disclosure that honest, caring funeral homes can use to separate their firms from the competition. (Approved for 1 CE hour by APFSP and licensing boards in most states and provinces.)
- Presented by Caleb Wilde, Confessions of a Funeral Director
- Sunday, October 12th, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
2. NFDA Whiskey Tasting & City Tour
Take a driving tour of Nashville with the NFDA to see the city’s landmark attractions including the famous Music Row, 2nd Avenue, Broadway and the Tennessee State Capital. After getting to know this year’s host city, enjoy a beer and bourbon tasting at Doc Holiday’s Saloon which features some of the city’s best local selections. To learn more or to register for this tour, click here.
- Sunday, October 12th, 2-5 p.m.
3. NFDA Welcome Party
Kick off your first night in Nashville by attending NFDA’s Welcome Party at Nashville’s #1 Dining and Entertainment destination, Wildhorse Saloon. Hosted by 2013 NFDA President, Robby Bates, this year’s Welcome Party will take place in a historic warehouse turned restaurant where guests can enjoy live music, delicious cuisine and billiards in the famous Wildhorse Billiards room.
- Sunday, October 12th, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Wildhorse Saloon
- Located at 120 2nd Ave. North.
4. Broadway’s Nightlife
The NFDA convention will take place in the heart of Music City Center where live music can be heard from hundreds of venues across the city. Just a block away from the convention center, lower Broadway consists of 4 blocks bursting with live country music venues, restaurants and businesses. From honky tonk clubs to historic cafes to concert halls, lower Broadway offers everything a music lover could ever want.
Head to the world famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge (422 Broadway) to see where country legends like Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson got their start and listen to local talent cover modern country hits. For those who like a little bit of rock with their country music, check out The Stage on Broadway (412 Broadway) where live music plays every night and there is never a cover charge. If you’re in the mood for some mechanical bull riding, visit Tequila Cowboy (305 Broadway) where you’ll also find live music, a dance club lounge and Karaoke stage. The NFDA will host this year’s Funeral Directors Under 40 Party there on Tuesday night at 8 p.m.
5. WORKSHOP: How Green Practices Benefit Your Business
Green burial practices have been a hot button topic in the funeral profession over the last several years as more firms embrace environmentally friendly burial options. At this year’s conference, directors will have an opportunity to learn how to integrate green practices into their funeral homes and communicate the program to the public. In this workshop, Funeral Director, Bob Prout, owner of the first funeral home in the United States to earn the NFDA Green Practices™ Certificate, will explain how he used cost-saving green practices to increase his firm’s market share.
- Presented by Carol Lynn Green, Law Office of Carol Lynn Green and Robert J Prout, Prout Funeral Home in Verona, NY
- Monday, October 13, 7:30-9:30 a.m.
6. The World’s Largest Funeral Expo
Be sure to set aside some time to explore the NFDA Expo Hall and learn more about the latest funeral products, trends and innovations. With more than 300 exhibitors, the expo hall is a chance to catch a sneak peak of what your funeral home’s vendors have in the works. There is always an exciting new product, booth design or special prize on display. We hope you’ll stop by to visit with the ASD team at Booth #1329.
This year, you’ll find three things at ASD’s booth that you won’t see anywhere else at the convention. First, we are excited to debut the newly enhanced ASD Mobile 3.0. Directors can enjoy a live demo of the new app and explore all of the features we’ve recently added. Then, spend some quality time with Gert, a grief-therapy dog owned by Funeral Director and Funeral Pro Chat guest, Debra Fry, of Fry Funeral home. Debra will also be available to answer any questions funeral professionals have about training a dog for grief therapy. Finally, see the one and only ASD Lego Cemetery set and enter for your chance to win. We will be give away a Lego set every day along with a free iPad Mini!
- Monday, 12–5 p.m.
- Tuesday, 12-5 p.m.
- Wednesday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
7. Jack’s BBQ
Only a short walk from Music City Center, the award-winning Jack’s Bar-B-Que has a little of everything for BBQ lovers. Offering a wide selection that includes Tennessee pulled pork shoulder, Texas-style brisket, St Louis-style pork ribs and a large selection of side dishes, you won’t find a better BBQ joint in Music City than Jack’s.
- Located at 416 Broadway
8. Country Music’s Roots
It’s not just the burgeoning live music scene that makes Nashville the city that “music calls home”. Nashville’s very foundation is built on music. Be sure to spend some time exploring all of the music history the city has to offer. Only a few blocks from Music City Center, you’ll find the “Mother Church of Country Music” – the Ryman Auditorium (116 Fifth Avenue. North.) Built in 1892, the theater has showcased legendary artists like Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Just a few blocks away, you’ll find the largest collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia in the world at the Johnny Cash Museum (119 3rd Ave. South.) On your walk back to the convention, take a stroll through the Music City Walk of Fame Park (4th Ave. South, directly across from Music City Center) to see the star-studded pavement honoring Nashville music legends and the Nashville Music Garden.
9. Grand Ole Opry
This is the show that made country music famous. Located about 15 minutes from Music City Center, The Grand Ole Opry (2804 Opryland Drive), Nashville’s #1 attraction, features a mix of legends and contemporary artists performing country, bluegrass, folk and more. It is also the longest running radio broadcast in history. Unlike a typical concert, the Opry shows feature eight or more artists, giving the audience a sample of each artist’s style. If you don’t have time to see a show, you can schedule a backstage tour of the theatre. In the center of the stage is a circle taken from the Ryland Auditorium where the Grand Ole Opry began in 1925.
If you’re feeling hungry while you’re in the Opryland area, check out Aquarium Restaurant (516 Opry Mills Drive). Dine while seated around a 200,000-gallon aquarium with floor to ceiling views of tropical fish, sharks, stingrays and more!
10. WORKSHOP: “Talkin’ ’Bout My Generation”: Four Generations in the Funeral Home
ASD team members have heard Lacy Robinson’s funeral seminars in the past and found her to be both informative and engaging. At this year’s NFDA convention, Lacy’s seminar will tackle the challenges of working in a multi-generational funeral home. Learn practical tips about resolving conflicts among the generations. Lacy will also offer guidance on how to mentor and motivate employees based on the core values of their generation.
- Presented by Lacy Robinson, CFSP, Aurora Casket Company
- Tuesday, 8:30–9:30 a.m.
11. Centennial Park
If you’re looking to spend a little time with nature during your trip to Nashville, take a short, 10-minute drive over to Centennial Park (2500 West End Ave.) where you’ll find 132 acres of pristine green space. The park boasts the impressive and iconic Parthenon building, which is the only full-scale replica of the original Athens Parthenon in the world. As Nashville’s premier park, Centennial Park is also known for its beautiful sunken garden, historic monuments and views of Lake Watauga.
12. Pedal Tavern – The Original Nashville Party Bike
If you want to see as much of Nashville as possible while enjoying the nightlife, check out Pedal Tavern, a 16-person party on wheels! Take one of the two different tours offered throughout the city and stop at local bars, restaurants and shops to explore Nashville in a completely unique way.
- Located at 1514 Demonbreun.
13. SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT: “Radar On-Antenna Up”: The Ritz-Carlton Method of Fulfilling Unexpressed Wishes and Needs
This year’s Special Engagement Speaker will focus on a universal business concept: customer service. Presented by Jeff Hargett, Senior Corporate Director of the Ritz Carlton, the seminar will explain how to extend personal service by fulfilling not only the expressed, but also the unexpressed needs of your customers. Personalization is central to both the hotel and the funeral profession. Listening to an outside perspective often challenges you to consider how an approach used by a different industry can be adapted for your business.
- Presented by Jeff Hargett, Senior Corporate Director, Culture Transformation, The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center
- Wednesday, October 15, 2–4 p.m.
14. A Hall of Fame Evening: Celebrate with the Stars
The NFDA has saved the best for last this year. Head over to the Country Music Hall of Fame (222 5th Ave South.) for the final party of the convention and celebrate the induction of new NFDA President, Rob Moore. In addition to hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and live music, this event also offers exclusive after-hours access. Stroll through the museum exhibits, explore the immense collection of recordings and learn about the history of country music while sipping cocktails. To learn more or to register for this event, click here.
- Hosted by 2014 NFDA President Rob Moore
- Wednesday, October 15th, 6-8:30 p.m.
ASD Quick Tip: If you’re still unsure what you’d like to do during your trip, download a travel app like Roadside America or Best Road Trip Ever. These mobile apps help you to locate nearby attractions, restaurants, shops and more.
We wish everyone safe and happy travels as you journey to Nashville for the 2014 NFDA Convention. Please leave us a comment if there are any events, CE classes or attractions in Nashville you would recommend that we might have missed. We’d love to add more to this guide.
About The Author
Jess Farren (Fowler)
Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD’s company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at Jess@myASD.com