‘Fantastic’, ‘inspiring’, ‘successful’ and ‘entertaining’ are some of the words that visitors and exhibitors used to sum up their three days at the National Funeral Exhibition, at Stoneleigh Park, on 9-11 June.

Nearly 4,000 people attended the show to view the latest innovations and products which are being produced to enable funeral directors to evolve and improve the care they provide to bereaved people.

VIP guests, plus 150 excited children on Family Day, added to the total number of people through the doors of the show across the three days, ensuring that there was a vibrant atmosphere and significant footfall within the two halls throughout the show.

Many visitors took the opportunity to rest their feet and grab some free inspiration at the same time in the seminar theatre in the heart of Hall 1.

The theatre was busy during each session, with a wide range of speakers including NAFD Chief Executive Mandie Lavin who set out her vision for the strategic direction of the Association. Mandie also gave an update on developments in regulation in Scotland. Bernadette Halton, of the RNIB (Royal National Institute for Blind People), gave attendees a vivid personal experience of what it is like to live with a visual impairment and Chantal Lockey, of the Foundation for Infant Loss Training, spoke movingly about the loss of her daughter to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 2004.

There were also presentations from SEIB on cybercrime and from NAFD President Alison Crake on the importance of learning and development in the funeral profession.

Visitors from more than 19 nations ensured that the show maintained its reputation as one of the top three global events for the funeral profession. Indeed, the NAFD welcomed visitors from countries as diverse as Bermuda, Cyprus, Mauritania, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa and Sri Lanka – all of whom related similar challenges and opportunities to those facing the UK profession.

Speaking after the event, Mandie Lavin said: “The NFE exists to provide an important and valuable opportunity for the international funeral profession to gather together – to do business, to network, to inspire through the latest thinking and the most innovative products…and to showcase the very best in this wonderful profession.

“I would like to thank every single exhibitor, sponsor, visitor and supplier for participating in the show – and particularly the exhibitors for your commitment, creativity and dedication to delivering an outstanding visitor experience.”

Expressions of interest are already being taken for the 2019 show which will be held on between Friday 7 and Sunday 9 June 2019. Many exhibitors have already signed up and selected their space. Please contact Kirsti Tomkinson on 0121 711 1343 or kirsti@nafd.org.uk for further details.