The science of what works

Charles 1 Comment

Screenshot 2014-06-28 at 16


We’re the last people to gloat over the mortal remains of the Funeral Business Innovation Show, slated to happen at Olympia in November this year. The organisers recently wrote to those who signed up to it:

The event was designed to benefit the funeral industry in a big way, at this stage it appears to be creating strong divides within it (despite our strong will to work with everybody we can to make this happen). We are not in the business of creating wars, we are in the business of benefiting British funeral directors. At this moment in time we are unable to serve the industry with the high standards we set for our events and have no choice but to postpone.

They’ll be astounded it hit the rocks. We could have told them. Actually, the record shows that we did tell them. Do your homework. Funeralword is another country: they do things differently there. Learn the language, get your head around the customs. They hate interlopers; they’ll circle the wagons and fight you off.

Which is what they did. Moral: what’s good for all businesses ain’t necessarily good for the funerals business. Generic solutions don’t apply. Remember what happened to Alex Polizzi? Nice woman, well meaning. The GFG offered a lot of consultancy to the researchers of that project. In the end we made our excuses and stormed out. When last seen, David was doing nicely, thank you.

As I say, we’re not gloating here at the GFG. Lots will be. Because we sometimes get it bang wrong too. Our stunningest misjudgement to date was to pronounce Death Cafe, at the concept phase, a definite non-runner. So what do we know? Ans: that failure is a great instructor. Keep trying.

Success, when it comes, often comes surprisingly easily. It happened like that for the event we got behind at its birth, the Ideal Death Show and Good Funeral Awards. It just goes on getting bigger, better and, here’s the point, ever more valuable to thinking people in the funerals business. No motivational speakers, no BBC Dragons, no gurus, no hotshots, no biwigs, no marketing whizkids — just good, thinking people coming together in a spirit of fellowship to swap thoughts and ideas and stuff that works (what used to be called best practice).

No one owns the event. It belongs to everyone who comes. So: come!


  1. Charles

    They still have their website and promotional information online running now with no mention of postponement or cancellation and it is now just days away. It is a concern that people might go to see a show that is not on, which is not on.

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