So you’re thinking about holding a retreat.
Did you know retreat planning begins 12-15 months in advance?
Retreats are an excellent way to step back from day-to-day activities & practice Deep Work.
Below are 3 reasons to begin your retreat planning today.
Right this minute.
1. Finding the perfect retreat location takes time
Your first step is to identify the retreat goal so you can find a location that aligns with your intention.
- Do you want students to deepen their practice?
- Does your group need to brainstorm & strategize the next big goal?
- Is your intention to encourage your clients to invest in themselves?
Remember: For a successful retreat, the location must support the retreat goal.
If your retreat is for nourishing the soul, luxurious lodging & gorgeous food is a must.
A strategic planning retreat will need breakout rooms.
For yoga & meditation: do the floors encourage sitting & rolling around?
The details of the location will strengthen your retreat goals & provide for a deeper, richer experience.
Remember: Retreat sites are often booked 12-15 months in advance.
Allow time to visit & research the location, including contacting previous guests for firsthand reviews.
Pro tip: If you are planning an international retreat, communications can take even longer due to limited internet connections & differing time zones.
2. You need 6-8 months to plan & organize before you announce the retreat
Now that you have a location, you can create the budget & decide your retreat pricing.
Budget questions to consider:
- Are you hiring a chef?
- Will you invite co-facilitators?
- What supplies, props, & gifts are you providing?
Don’t forget to leave room for unexpected expenses & teachers: pay yourself what you are worth!
Next step is timeline creation. You’ll need a timeline for:
- payments & deposits,
- marketing & outreach, &
- participant communications.
Remember: A clear timeline prevents missed deadlines & provides an opportunity for all involved to be on the same page.
During these initial planning months, you’ll develop your retreat schedule.
Some questions to consider:
- How are meals served? How long will this take?
- Where are group sessions held? What’s the distance from the lodging?
- How will the retreat close? Will there be time for group processing?
Don’t forget to leave room in your schedule for those magical teachable moments.
Pro tip: As you develop your retreat schedule, include downtime – space for participants (& you!) to relax & recharge.
3. Your retreat participants need 4-6 months to prepare
Provide your participants time to make personal arrangements, such as:
- organizing family commitments,
- scheduling time off work, &
- saving up for transportation & retreat costs.
You’ll also need time to finalize travel & lodging logistics.
With 4-6 months before your retreat, you have a great opportunity to begin the juiciness of your retreat now.
If your retreat is local, arrange a potluck with all the participants – especially wonderful if strangers will be sharing rooms.
Or host a group conference call, webinar, or create a private Facebook group.
This community development prepares everyone, as well as provide you with valuable information about your participants’ intentions.
Pro tip: Get rid of early-bird discounts. Instead, offer a bonus 1-on-1 session with early registration. Honor the value of your retreat while increasing connection with your participants.
With some intentional planning, your retreat will be a success. All it takes is attention to detail, a clearly communicated timeline, & some logistical organization.
In the world of retreat coordination (where thousands of dollars could be on the line) there can never be enough planning.
So take the time today to begin planning.