I attended the Funeraire Paris 2013 - Salon International De L'Art Funeraire this year and my was I unblown away. Mediocre at best unfortunately. This show claims international status but from the beginning (signing in) I had issues with language. Even my Leaving Cert French couldn't help me here. This did not bode well for the show. I found that 80% of the exhibitors were French, of whom a large part did not speak any English and thus it was difficult to find out exactly why anyone should choose them above their competitors.
For some reasoning I seemed mostly drawn to Italian exhibitors, completely coincidental, or maybe innovation is in Italy! When I visit these shows, I like to find something that catches my eye, something new, something colourful, different - something that stands out. For me the Italians had it in bags.
There was beautiful urns from Milan, a far cry from any I had seen before, from Amuela, Milano (Amuela.it). There was the stunning Rotastyle from Presezzo, Italy whose exhibition was far from shy. It's screamed glamour, luxury, and money. A beautiful display area with a few cute parting gifts for visitors to their exhibit, they definitely packed a punch in my eyes. Lastly on the Italian front there was PastBook (PastBook.com), an innovative new approach to social media, online photos and the funeral industry, I think this one is a much needed service. It offers undertakers a reasonable cut of the takings without robbing the consumer. They began with parties and weddings and have now moved into funerals. A smart move in my opinion and if any funeral directors are out there, getting in touch with these guys will be their next move if they are smart. A step up from the wedding album or the condolence book and a business to watch!
Other businesses to note: ParlAmore which can incorporate the button or buttons of loved ones into a ring or broach which is a step up from a mourning pin. There was also a fabulous Eco coffin creator. Fantastic images. Check her out onwww.cercueils-en-carton.com. Bling hit the coffin makers with Globale RC putting crystals into their coffins - dazzling even the most discerning customer.
Finally there was Jewel Concepts in the form of Fingerprint jewellery and portrait jewellery. The first you may know about, the second perhaps not. These guys, I spoke with Cess Janssen in particular, know how to personalise jewellery. From still births to burials and cremations, they have it covered. The portrait jewellery is where they take an image of someone's profile (from a picture) and they use that profile shape to create a unique pendent, as can be seen in the pictures. It has the shape of a vase but upon closer inspection you can see the silhouette of the face. Ashes can be inserted into the pendent also.
All in all Paris was not where it's at in terms of innovation, but definitely worth a visit for networking and some hidden gems.