Funeral directors and cemeterians who want to generate preneed sales can learn how to hold an end-of-life conversation-starting event with the Before I Die Festival in a Box by Gail Rubin, a certified thanatologist known as “the doyenne of death.” (A doyenne is a woman considered senior in a group who knows a lot about a particular subject.) The book and additional materials will be released March 15, 2023.

Before I Die Festivals provide unique and innovative ways to entertain while educating about end-of-life issues, to get people to plan for our 100% mortality rate,” Rubin said.

Using behind-the-scenes tours, activities, games, speakers and other outside-the-box activities, Before I Die Festivals offer thought-provoking content within memorable and life-affirming events. The Before I Die Festival in a Box shows how to draw potential clients to a funeral home or cemetery without having to experience the death of a loved one.

The book’s contents offer ways a festival can help connect with boomers and younger generations, get positive local news coverage and sell services before a family needs them. The book includes:

  • How to find festival sponsors and partners.
  • A step-by-step marketing plan for your festival.
  • Ways to generate publicity and draw event attendees.
  • Entertaining movies and TV programs that also educate about pre-need planning.
  • How to collect warm leads from festival attendees.

The Before I Die Festival in a Box includes these conversation-starting tools in addition to the book:

  • Newly-Dead The Game playing cards and instructions for couples and singles, as well as Newly-Dead Bingo.
  • A four-DVD set of the TV interview series hosted by Rubin, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die.
  • Death Cafe ground rules and information sheet for participants.
  • Bare Bones Checklist to help collect information for an Upon My Death letter.
  • Plus, one hour of consulting time with author Gail Rubin, who has coordinated multiple Before I Die Festivals.

The Before I Die Festival in a Box package, available only from, sells for $219.99. The paperback book alone (ISBN 979-8-9868388-0-9), as well as an eBook version (ISBN 979-8-9868388-1-6), will be available separately through online retailers for $49.99. Book orders may also be placed through bookstores. The publisher is Light Tree Press.

Learn more about Rubin at

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