Funeral IQ to Highlight How to Operate Smarter, Serve More Families and Provide More Value


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Miami, FL (December 11th, 2023) – Forward-thinking funeral professionals and cemetery operators determined to expand their growth mindset, provide more value to families and boost their market position are invited to Funeral IQ, Sept. 20, 2024, at the Live! Casino & Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Co-hosted by Sympathy Brands, the parent company for,,,, and others; and, an online portal that offers insights on honoring the dead and comforting the living, Funeral IQ will feature top operators and consultants from the death-care profession as well as its allies.

“We wanted to hold a gathering that gives back to death-care professionals – one where the sole focus will be on giving funeral directors and cemeterians the tools they need to work smarter, not harder,” said Michael Schimmel, the CEO and founder at Sympathy Brands. “Funeral IQ is the perfect chance to learn from those who have made it their life’s work to provide more value to grieving families, those preparing for a death and individuals who want to preplan. Even better, we’ll have networking opportunities built in throughout the event, so we can all learn from each other as well.”

Speakers at Funeral IQ will include:

  • Dr. Amy Schiffman, a chief medical officer and the host of “Mastering Medicare,” will deliver a presentation titled, “Bridging Hospice and End of Life,” which will explore how funeral directors can better partner with hospice care agencies and caregivers.

  • Shane Pudenz, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Carriage Services, will focus on how to “Boost Your Preneed to At-need Ratio in 12 Months,” where he’ll share strategies to boost your preneed program and immediately add value to your business.

  • Welton Hong, the founder and CEO of Ring Ring Marketing, will deliver a session titled “Turning Challenges into Opportunities: Digital Marketing Amid Low Death Rates,” where he’ll highlight how firms are boosting market share even amid the “pull-forward effect” of the pandemic, which has slashed the death rate.

  • Chris Cruger, CEO of The Foresight Companies will provide a “Consumer Snapshot: Attitudes and Behaviors that Define Your Future.” Relying on insights from a comprehensive study, he’ll showcase how firms can better serve the changing wants and needs of families.

  • Michael Schimmel, the founder and CEO of Sympathy Brands, will deliver a session titled “Meeting People Where They Are: Using the Right Resources at the Right Time,” which will provide actionable insights on how to recognize opportunities to serve families through technology and ways to evaluate technology for your use in serving families. 

Thomas Parmalee, the founder of and the architect of numerous events that have helped death-care professionals outsmart competitors, said he’s excited about the chance to serve the profession once again alongside the team at Sympathy Brands. “The Live! Casino & Hotel will be a great venue for funeral professionals who want to gather, roll up their sleeves and get to work,” he said. “Plus, we’ll also network and have fun when we’re not in the classroom.” He added, “We’ll have a cocktail hour built into the event and share lessons over lunch. We all need to focus on our Funeral IQ, and this event will propel attendees to do just that … but you need to be there.”

Registration for the event, which will offer continuing education units for many states, costs $249 if you register by June 15, 2024, and $349 afterward.

Sympathy Brands and thank the supporters of Funeral IQ, who share their joint mission to serve the profession, so that those who want to conduct business smarter have the tools to do so.

Platinum sponsors are Ring Ring Marketing and The Foresight Companies; Gold sponsors are Carriage Services,, Cremation Recycling and Nomis Publications; and Silver sponsors are, Big Sky Capital Partners, and Precoa.

Visit to learn more about the event.




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