NFE: Trends, tech and talk

With its host of exciting exhibitors, new products and major launches, NFE 2019 didn’t disappoint…

Once again, the National Funeral Exhibition (NFE) attracted an international audience to Stoneleigh Park Exhibition Centre, Warwickshire, in June.

The three-day exhibition is recognised as one of the three top events for the profession in the world. It attracts both funeral directors and exhibitors from near and far to see and promote the latest innovative products for the profession, to hear thought leadership, views and discussion through its free seminar programme and to encourage business networking opportunities for the 4,000 attendees.

The National Association of Funeral Directors, which organises the event every two years, said it was the “biggest and best NFE to date, showcasing the innovative and compassionate funeral profession at its very best”.

As in previous events, SAIF and Golden Charter had a large presence at the exhibition with stands that were busy with visiting funeral directors and suppliers to the profession.

SAIF President Jim Auld, who attended the event with SAIF Chief Executive Terry Tennens, said: “The SAIF stand was very busy over the weekend with potential new members but there was also a lot of interest in our Next Generation initiative, which supports new members to join and participate in the next generation of their family businesses or the companies they work for.”

Terry was interested in the presentation from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) team as part of the NFE’s seminar programme. He said: “The CMA are undertaking a market investigation into the funerals sector and we were reassured that they are taking quality of service into this investigation. We would encourage all of our independent funeral homes, who are members of SAIF and others, to submit their concerns, questions and views to the CMA on their website.”

Jim added: “As the NFE only happens every two years it is a great way to connect with funeral directors and colleagues throughout the country.”

The exhibition attracted more than 200 exhibitors across a wide range of sectors, including vehicle fleets, coffins and caskets, professional equipment suppliers, printing and stationery companies, online memorial services, charities and a range of business advisory firms to support funeral directors with their business needs.

SAIF’s Claire Day on the big weekend

Throughout the weekend our stand was continuously busy with the opportunity to meet both existing and new members and associates, either to find out information on joining us or with general queries surrounding the profession. Thinking about the NFE in 2017, the visitors to our stand certainly had increased on both the Friday and Saturday.

Along with SAIF’s National President Jim Auld, Chief Executive Terry Tennens and members of the Executive Committee, we were also accompanied on our stand by representatives from SAIF’s NextGen group, Brian Hart and Jo Carra from SAIFInsure and Catherine Betley, Chantelle Rose and Joanna Williams from Professional Help who were on hand to answer questions about SAIF Care and SAIFSupport.

We were also pleased to launch the new website This was created by SAIF and is in response to consumer research last year by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which highlighted a lack of public awareness about options.

The aim of the site is to provide information about funerals in a non-promotional way which gives the public the knowledge required to make informed choices, in addition to signposting to aftercare and bereavement support groups.

Thank you to those who bought a raffle ticket to win two nights’ accommodation and two banquet tickets. I am pleased to announce that Cheryl Yarwood from Secure Haven Urns & Keepsakes was the lucky winner.

On behalf of SAIF, the team would like to thank all who took time to visit the SAIF stand, for the positive feedback and wonderful comments.

Claire Day, SAIF Business Administration Manager

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