Annual Conference Education


for education slides and handouts.

Post-Conference Webinars
Ensure you and your staff catch up on what was shared in New Orleans! Two of this year’s sessions will be repeated in May via webinar at no additional cost to you. Sign up at  *These webinars are a free member benefit. No CE credit given.



Thank you to this year's educational speakers! See below for what was shared.

altOpening Keynote: Attract New Customers by Differentiating Your Funeral Home from the Rest
Matthew Pollard - Rapid Growth Speaker & Coach, 1 CE
Friday, April 21 - 8:00 - 9:15 a.m.

Do you struggle to identify and communicate what sets your funeral home apart from your competitors? Matt Pollard believes the key to gaining new customers doesn't require working harder but does require thinking strategically. He'll show you how to motivate families to learn more about your services and identify the unique value your funeral home offers.

alt5 Steps for Setting Your Funeral Home Apart: Craft Your Differentiated and Unified Message 
Matthew Pollard, 1 CE
Friday, April 21 - 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

You don’t have to compete on price alone. Come ready to roll up your sleeves and dive into an hour-long strategic consultation on how to determine what sets your funeral home apart. 


  • Discover how funeral homes have successfully communicated their unique value for helping families plan funerals and memorials.
  • Complete the 5-step hands-on system introduced in Matthew’s first session to identify what unique value your funeral home offers.
  • Learn how to communicate messages that attract client families.

altHow to Present Embalming and Open Casket Options So Families Will Thank You Later
Vernie Fountain, 1 CE
Friday, April 21 - 9:45 - 10:45 a.m.

With the widespread acceptance of cremation, do the families you serve understand the importance of saying goodbye to loved ones before disposition? Mr. Fountain will share how communicating the value of a viewing will not only increase your bottom line but will also help families start the process of healing.

• Learn tips for communicating the value of a private/ public viewing to all families during the arrangement conference.
• Gain ideas for educating the public about the full range of services your funeral home offers.
• Discover ways to navigate challenging questions from families and staff who have misperceptions about viewings.



altTechniques to Repair Minor to Severe Trauma Cases
Vernie Fountain, 1 CE
Friday, April 21 - 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Calling embalmers and prep-room staff – this session is for you. Discover time-tested restorative art principles from expert Vernie Fountain that you can apply to every case.

  • Learn various methods for repairing minor to severe facial injuries and bone structure challenges.
  • Explore do’s and don’ts from actual case studies.
  • Acquire knowledge that enables you to properly approach trauma cases and create better body appearance than your competitors.

alt4 Tips for Wooing Cremation Families 
Laine Phillips, OGR, 1.5 CE
Saturday, April 22 - 9:15 - 10:15 a.m.

More and more families choose cremation and aren’t aware of all your funeral home can do for them beyond direct disposition. Learn to communicate your value and give cremation families what they really want.

  • Identify solutions to help families plan memorable life celebration events.
  • Discover an easy yet practical approach to handling cremation phone inquiries.
  • Update your cremation packages to meet consumers’ needs.
  • Get tips for keeping your funeral home at top of mind for prospective client families.

altSimple Gadgets for Making Life and Serving Families Easier 
Various Facilitators, 1.5 CE
Saturday, April 22 - 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Imagine tracking the progress of a procession from your cell phone or using a free, quick solution for communicating with your staff while you're on a call. This hands-on session will include quick ten-minute presentations that explore easy-to-use technology tools you can start using in your funeral home today. Learn to work smarter, not harder.

altClosing Keynote: How to Create Value for What We Do in a Bottom Feeder Market 
David Riemann, 1 CE
Saturday, April 22 - 2:45 - 3:45 p.m.

What changes would you make to your business if you could start over? Former OGR President David Riemann will share how he reimagined his funeral home after Hurricane Katrina damaged several of his buildings. Recognizing the changes taking place in funeral service, he left his comfort zone and made serious changes to better serve families in his community. 

  • Learn how to identify innovative service ideas for your funeral home to compete with low-cost providers.
  • Identify practical tools for battling the “that won’t work in our community” mindset.
  • Gain inspiration for making changes that will help your funeral home thrive during times of change.

altGreat Ideas Exchange
Member Led, 1.5 CEs
Saturday, April 22 - 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

The most helpful ideas often come from your colleagues. Join us for roundtable discussions on issues you’re currently facing. In this year’s Great Ideas Exchange, members will learn new ways to tackle challenges and keep their businesses above ground. Come prepared with questions to contribute to the annual networking exchange.


 altStudy Group Style Exchange: What’s Your Best Practice?
Member Led, 1 CE
Friday, April 21 - 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

The most helpful ideas often come from your colleagues. Join us in this study group style session, which will deep dive into specific challenges you're facing. Come prepared to share a best practice that’s helped you solve one challenge this year.


Continuing Ed
The Annual Conference will offer up to 9 CEs in states where approved. Visit for a current list of approvals.