Some of the Neville Funerals’ team attended the National Funeral Exhibition (NFE 2019) at Stoneleigh Park at the weekend. Here, General Manager, Charmian Alexander gives her thoughts on why events like these are so important for funeral service providers looking to raise the bar when it comes to meeting customer needs.
“Eight of us travelled to a rather rainy Warwickshire at the weekend. Having joined Neville Funerals a few months ago, it was a great opportunity to get to know some of the team outside of the 9-5 and wonderful to see the commitment from so many people happy to give up a Saturday to learn more about how they can better serve their clients.
“I’ve attended the NFE numerous times but for some of the team it was their first experience of the event. I think what struck them most was the sheer scale of the exhibition. With more than 200 exhibitors it is the largest trade show for the funeral sector in the UK and people come from across the globe to attend.
“It has a proven history as a must-visit event in the industry calendar and this year was no exception. The day offered a fantastic opportunity to catch up with existing suppliers and partners, make valuable new contacts and see some of the latest, innovative new products on offer.
“Everything and anything related to the funeral sector can be found at the NFE, but what stood out for me was the clear trend towards making funerals more personalised. There will always be a place for the traditional funeral service but one size does not fit all and people are increasingly looking for options which better reflect them and how they lived their lives.
“There was array of new products on offer, from eco-friendly electric vehicles and sustainable ashes urns to American caskets and glitter coffins (my personal favourite). I’m delighted to see that the sector is responding to the desire for more choice and flexibility. There is no right or wrong way to say goodbye and what was clear from walking around the many exhibition stands was that the industry is becoming a lot more innovative and dare I say progressive, in the options available.
“Another key feature was looking beyond the funeral itself to how we can help people create lasting memorials for their loved ones. Once again the emphasis was very much on making it personal to them, with an array of memorial ideas such as trees where messages can be placed by the family, though to keepsake jewellery and art using cremated remains.
“At Neville Funerals we pride ourselves on offering a truly personal service and strive to ensure the funerals we plan are a fitting tribute to the life of a loved one. In order to do this we need to keep abreast of what is available on the market which is why events like the NFE are so important. It was a really enjoyable and informative day for the whole team. We all came away with lots of ideas on how we can continue to better support our clients through difficult times and help people say goodbye in the way they want to.