Memorial Slideshows as a business

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Memorial Slideshows as a business

Postby jskintauy » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:44 pm

Hi All,

Like many here, I got serious about making great slideshows because of doing them for family memorials. I think it helps everyone who participates with grief and is a valuable service. Obviously the funeral industry agrees as the largest funeral company (won't mention names) provides this service. See www.mem.com for more info on them. Further, a company called FuneralOne provides web site development and their own slideshow software called Life Tributes for creating memorial shows. Many independent funeral homes use their services.
I think competition from such heavy hitters is hard to overcome. There are a couple of small independent funeral homes in my city and even one of those offers their own service.
So, I was thinking....maybe changing the focus to doing pet memorial slideshows would be a good change and provide some of the same sort of satisfaction. I am researching it now, but it appears much less saturated.
Honestly though, what I am considering is combining a slideshow service with a website that hosts pet memorials To me, this is a natural combination. Has anyone considered this or have thoughts about it.

Jim
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Re: Memorial Slideshows as a business

Postby BarbaraC » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:57 am

I'm freshly back from scanning through mem.com, and when I saw their prices, I nearly fell out of my chair. (Their web site is also difficult to negotiate due to crowded, pinprick-sized text.) If this is an example of the competition, I'd say that with proper marketing, people can still do well as independent slide show makers of memorials.

I think you've got an excellent idea in pet memorials, but simply hosting the videos wouldn't be enough. People will want their own copies to watch on TV or computer or both.

Barbara
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Re: Memorial Slideshows as a business

Postby pilotdan63 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:54 am

I have attempted to penetrate the memorial slide show market where I live, however of the 8 funeral homes I have approached, while cordial during my interview presentations, none have been forthcoming with offers for my services. Most said they have their own "in house" person that creates a very simple "bare bones" type of memorial show.

I also find memorial slide shows to be a real challenge in that . . . 1. there is a very short time window when the show must be completed, 2. the family usually isn't very prepared to provide the type of interactive feed-back needed to produce the slide show, 3. most pictures need to be scanned because they are not in a digital format and 4. family members are in morning for their loved one(s) and really are not prepared to deal with the technical details of producing a slide show presentation for their memorial service.

In the past 4 years I have only been contracted to provide 2 memorial slide shows for local funeral homes in my area; not very promising to be sure :(

Dan
Last edited by pilotdan63 on Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Memorial Slideshows as a business

Postby BarbaraC » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:20 am

There are members of the forum who've managed to get an "in" with funeral homes, so it probably depends on a number of factors, one of them being, of course, that the homes are open to the idea. It probably also helps to be assertive in one's marketing, though what this might entail in such an area is a bit beyond me. Being told there's an in-house person who does the shows speaks to the probability that they charge extra for it and don't want to give up that piece of the profit. Perhaps there's a way to make it more attractive for them to have an outside person do it, one who can do a better job of it.

I'm just musing out loud about aspects of it, which means I know diddly-squat. :D

Barbara
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Re: Memorial Slideshows as a business

Postby pilotdan63 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:33 am

Barbara . . . yes, persistence is very important and I also agree with you that funeral homes do want to keep this service "in-house" especially when they have someone on-staff that is willing to make the show for essentially . . . no cost to the funeral home :wink:

Dan

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Re: Memorial Slideshows as a business

Postby jskintauy » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:11 am

Hi Barbara,

I didn't care much for mem.com either, but they are owned by a big corporate funeral home company with 1600 homes in the US. Those homes market their service, so quality is not going to persuade them to switch. In my town, they own most of the funeral homes. That is why I was thinking of two things.
1. Focusing on pet cemetery's in the region that don't offer this service.
2. Expanding the business to include something complimentary. Photographers provide wedding slideshows to augment their business.
My thought is to create a website (something really really good, it will have to be) for creating online memorials, then offering to create siideshows as an add-on. We can create a DVD and of course, host the video on the memorial site.

Good discussion I think.

Thanks.
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Re: Memorial Slideshows as a business

Postby BarbaraC » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:28 am

Jim, I really love the idea of pet memorials. People adore their pets, and when they lose them, they reminisce for years to come. I remember all the pets I ever had and with clarity, as I'm sure you and everyone else does, and to offer a slide show service would, I think, be a boon for you and for the people commissioning shows. For sure, contacting pet cemeteries would be one of the best avenues, possibly giving them a professional-looking handout they can give people.

Marketing is so vital, and yet it's also so difficult.

Barbara
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