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May 3, 2019

Don't Let Your Profits Go Up in Flames


Today, more people are getting cremated than buried, and “traditional” doesn’t mean anything when it comes to funeral service.

With that comes challenges – but also opportunities. At the Cremation Innovations Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina, you’ll discover how to recognize and respond to both. 

Learn how to:

  • Navigate the approval process to open a crematory.
  • Design a rock-solid cremation authorization form that protects your interests.
  • Boost family satisfaction and company revenue by offering celebrant services.
  • Serve more families by honoring their pets.
  • Craft powerful calls to action to collect email addresses and get phone calls.

The conference will include keynote speakers as well as mini-presentations from some of the most innovative companies that are offering new products and services to help cremation families honor loved ones.


The event has been approved by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice for 5.5 hours of continuing education. Approvals are also being sought from individual states.


Christine Toson Hentges

President, The Tribute Companies

Chris Farmer

Owner, The Farmer Firm

Welton Hong

Founder, Ring Ring Marketing

Coleen Ellis

Owner, Two Hearts Pet Loss Center

Matt Bailey

President of CT Life Tributes


Friday, May 3, 2019

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Registration and Morning Refreshments

Arrive early to pick up your conference materials, meet the event staff and jolt yourself awake with a cup of coffee and an assortment of bagels, muffins and other refreshments.

8:00 AM - 8:15 AM

Welcoming Remarks and Introductions

8:15 AM - 9:00 AM

Share Your Best Ideas

Team up with your peers to share your best and most profitable ideas focused on serving cremation families. Each group will share their three best ideas. The members of the group with the best idea will receive a free copy of “The Complete Cremation Handbook” – a $129 value!

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Step 1: Crematory Projects: From Concept to Reality
Christine Toson Hentges, President of The Tribute Companies

You’ve made all the right moves and are ready to install a crematory at your location. Your hard work is finished, and it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor … right? Not so fast.

Hentges will draw on her hard-won experience to walk you through the process of getting a crematory approved in your community – from the politics to the “not-in-my-backyard” philosophy. Learn how to: 

  • Anticipate tough questions from the community.
  • Gather the right team to navigate the approval process.
  • Make moves early on that will maximize your return on investment.
  • Market your new services once the equipment is in.

With Hentges’ help, you’ll be equipped to take steps to ensure that your hard work and planning does not go to waste – and once running – you’ll know how to offer packages that resonate with families.

10:00 AM - 10:15 AM


10:15 AM - 11:15 AM

Step 2: Avoiding and Responding to Lawsuits 
Chris Farmer, owner of The Farmer Firm

If you don’t think about liability tied to cremation until after getting sued, you’re going to be in big trouble – so big that you may go out of business.

In this session, Chris Farmer, founder of The Farmer Firm and the former general counsel of the Cremation Association of North America, provides step-by-step guidance so you can prepare for (and even avoid) courtroom battles. Learn how to:

  • Document facts and procedures.
  • Respond to formal and informal investigations.
  • Determine when you need to call a lawyer.
  • Settle the cases that you have no chance of winning.

Farmer’s expertise alone is worth the cost of your registration several times over.

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Step 3: Turning Clicks into Dollars 
Welton Hong, Founder, Ring Ring Marketing

It’s no longer enough to have a great reputation. That great reputation needs to be found and heard about … and that means being online.

Welton Hong, founder of Ring Ring Marketing, has helped some of the country’s top funeral homes, cemeteries and combination operations bolster their online marketing. In straightforward language, he will share the simple steps you can take to:

  • Improve your website’s search engine optimization.
  • Craft powerful calls to action to collect email addresses and get phone calls.
  • Provide families with valuable content to boost your brand.
  • Collect and leverage positive reviews on Google, Yelp and other sites. 

When you fail to market your firm online, you’re not just throwing money out the window – you’re also harming families by letting them do business with firms that do not match your level of care and service.

12:15 PM - 1:15 PM


1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Step 4: Boosting Business with Pet Cremation
Coleen Ellis, Owner, Two Hearts Pet Loss Center

Demand for pet memorialization continues to explode, and while a number of funeral homes, crematories and cemeteries serve this niche, many families still aren’t having their needs met.

That’s good news for those looking to build or expand an existing pet loss program to enhance goodwill in the community, boost profits and complement an existing human business.

Coleen Ellis, one of the leading pet memorial specialists in the world, provides you the tools you need to:

  • Turn pet families into customers for your human business.
  • Generate more referrals by helping families with pets.
  • Offer more products and services by serving this niche.
  • Earn positive media exposure and get free publicity.

Get the tools you need to expand market share and help your community by focusing on pet cremation.

2:30 PM - 2:45 PM


2:45 PM - 3:45 PM

Step 5: Celebrants and Cremation: Perfect Together
Matt Bailey, President of CT Life Tributes

You didn’t need the last several years of findings from the Pew Research Center to know that the percentage of Americans who do not identify with any religion has been increasing – you see it at your business every day.

You also know that families who are less religious are less likely to hold a service to honor their loved one – unless you give them the chance to do so without so many religious overtones.

In this session, Matt Bailey, a celebrant trainer with InSight Institute and owner of numerous Connecticut funeral homes, explores how celebrants can make a huge difference – especially when it comes to serving families that prefer cremation. Learn how to:

  • Avoid traps caused by traditional thinking.
  • Cater to those who consider themselves spiritual but not religious.
  • Turn families and funeral guests into passionate advocates for your business.
  • Position yourself for future success.

Bring customer service to a whole new level with the lessons you’ll learn in this session.

3:45 PM - 4:15 PM

BONUS: Closing Remarks and Q&A with Our Speakers

HOTEL - $154 per night

Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel

3315 Scott Futrell Drive

Charlotte, NC 28208


(704) 392-1200


Ring Ring Marketing


Implant Recycling



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