Gail Rubin Speaking at NFDA October 9

Sep 5, 2022 | 0 comments

How to Foster Preneed Sales with a Before I Die Festival

NFDA 2022 Speaking on Preneed SalesDon’t miss this presentation at the National Funeral Directors Association convention in Baltimore on Sunday, October 9, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist and The Doyenne of Death® will share how a Before I Die Festival can fill your preneed pipeline. One funeral home made $80,000 in preneed sales in two days!

Program Description

How do you encourage people to come to your funeral home without attending a funeral? Invite these future customers to attend a Before I Die Festival. With a one- or two-day event at your facility, you can address the public’s curiosity, educate them about new trends in death care, build your preneed customer pipeline, generate great local media stories, and connect your funeral home to complementary end-of-life businesses. Utilize behind-the-scenes tours, panel discussions, and outside-the-box activities to engage your community. Learn how several funeral homes leveraged Before I Die Festivals to generate warm leads, create community connections, get great news coverage, and foster end-of-life planning conversations leading to preneed sales.

Program Outline

A short history of death discussion movements and Before I Die Festivals

Elements of a successful event, illustrated by one-day Festivals in Bakersfield, CA and El Paso, TX, covering these elements:

  • Program planning, engaging speakers, structuring the event (hybrid in-person/online option during COVID)
  • Promotion of the event: advertising, public relations, social media, emails, direct mail
  • Lead collection: pre-registration, prize drawings, on-site registration
  • Follow-up with attendees: on-site speaker evaluations, post-event survey, calls, emails, direct mail
  • Utilize videos of Festival sessions

Small group discussion of possible Festival ideas


Preneed Sales Video Message

Rolf Guknecht, President and CEO of LAads – A Marketing Agency, was to present at this session. However, due to a scheduling conflict, he will be sharing information by pre-recorded video. Here’s an overview of the one-day Before I Die Festival he coordinated for his client, Greenlawn Funeral Homes and Cemetery.

Rolf Guknecht Before I Die Festival Overview

Presenter Gail Rubin, CT

The Doyenne of Death podcast artGail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist and The Doyenne of Death®, is a pioneering death educator who connects organizations with baby boomers concerned about end-of-life issues. An award-winning author and speaker, Gail was one of the first people to hold Death Cafes and Before I Die Festivals in the United States. She is renowned for her use of humor, film clips and outside-the-box activities to start conversations, teach about end-of-life issues, and plan ahead for our inevitable mortality. She has presented engaging breakout convention sessions to ICCFA, CANA, Selected Independent Funeral Homes, NFDMA, state associations in Texas, New Hampshire, Alabama and Ohio, and hospice organizations in California, Texas and New Mexico.

She will be a featured speaker at the Before I Die Ohio Festival in Dayton, OH, October 27-29, 2022. For more information about how to hold a Before I Die Festival, visit

A Good Goodbye