OGR and Selected Are Presenting a Seminar to Help Independent Funeral Professionals Push Back Against the Declining Perceived Value of Funerals

Sponsored in part by:




Registration is now live!
  1. Download registration form. 
  2. Call in your registration - 800-323-4219 - ask for Stefanie or Amy and mention you're an OGR member.
Why Attend This Seminar?

Foremost funeral service innovator Dr. Alan Wolfelt will lead a group of 60 independent funeral professionals through an interactive seminar to explore the importance of why we have funerals, and most importantly, learn how to articulate the “WHY’S” to families you serve and to your community at large. Participants will learn tips and tools to:

  • Articulate WHY funerals are essential.
  • Understand WHY the funeral’s ceremonial elements, from visitation and music to readings and action, combine to create a “sweet spot” of experience for family and friends.
  • Interface six essential functions of the funeral with the elements of ceremony.
  • Convey the value every step of the way in the planning process.
  • Easily overcome common objections to funerals with solid responses.
  • Arrange funerals as a “facilitator,” not a “functionary.”
  • Care for yourself as you create meaningful funeral services.
  • Safeguard the very future of funerals by helping families make transformations— “decisions that are good for them.”

Scheduled prior to the start of the NFDA International Convention & Expo in Chicago, the seminar will begin on the evening of Friday, October 25 and continue with a full day on Saturday, October 26. This workshop will include all the training that Dr. Wolfelt delivers in his 4-day training program, and at a $300 savings (for OGR and Selected members)!


Friday, October 25, 2019 – Caribbean/Caspian Ballroom

4:00 p.m.              Registration opens

5:00 – 6:30 p.m.   Seminar

  • Welcome and introduction to learning objectives
  • Personal introductions
  •  “Seek to understand” influences on de-ritualization

6:30 – 7:30 p.m.   Dinner

7:30 – 9:00 p.m.   Seminar

  • Funeral misconceptions
  • Shouldn’t I just do what families want me to do?

Saturday, October 26, 2019 – Pacific Ballroom

7:30 - 9:00 a.m.               Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.    Seminar

  • Brief history of the evolution of funeral service
  • Understanding the concept of “transformation”
  • The distinction between decisions and choices
  • Macro purposes of funerals
  • Four kinds of family rituals

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.            Lunch

1:00 – 3:30 p.m.              Seminar

  • Application of the experience economy to funerals
  • Model to teach the purposes and elements of meaningful funerals
  • Integrating the “why” into the funeral arrangement process
  • Moving from theory to practice
  • Questions and discussion, closing remarks

About Dr. Alan Wolfelt

Dr. Wolfelt is a respected author and educator on the topic of creating meaningful funeral experiences. He has created a practical model that interfaces six essential functions of funerals with the elements of ceremony. Recipient of the Association of Death Education and Counseling’s Death Educator Award, Dr. Wolfelt is Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition and is on the faculty of the University of Colorado Medical School’s Department of Family medicine. He is also the author of many bestselling books, including A Tale of Two Funerals: The Throw Rug and the Tapestry, Funeral Home Customer Service A to Z and Creating Meaningful Funeral Experiences. He also writes a regular column on customer service for The Director magazine.

Meeting Location and Hotel Reservations

The meeting will be held at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago, Ill. Participants are welcome to stay at any hotel of your choosing. You may book hotel reservations using the National Funeral Director Association’s Housing Bureau by visiting www.nfda.com/convention.

Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel
221 North Columbus Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60601

Meeting Registration and Meal Package Fees

Registration includes admission to all meeting sessions, hospitality during meeting sessions, dinner on October 25 and lunch on October 26.

$599 (OGR and Selected Member)
$699 (non-members)

All amounts are shown in U.S. dollars. Cancellation of registration received prior to September 1, 2019, will result in full refund less a service charge of $100. Cancellation received after September 1, 2019, will result in refund for registration only (not meals) less a $100 charge.


The seminar has been approved for up to 8.5 hours in various states. See www.ogr.org/ces for each state's approval. 


Contact Jessica Riddlesperger at (800) 637-8030 for more information.