In today’s world of instant gratification, likes and endless engagement online, people are hungrier than ever to get away from it all.
Truly, it’s never been a better time to be a retreat leader.
Planning and implementing a retreat is no easy feat, however, the possibilities are endless!
A knitting retreat? We’ve seen it. A Harry Potter retreat? We’ve seen that too. And, let’s not forget about the retreat one of our students planned to do in Ireland which was to bathe in the beauty of faery light. Yes, that’s a thing!
If you can dream it, you can turn it into a retreat. The sky is the limit.
Yet, time after time, we see healers, coaches, and transformational leaders feeling lost about the x’s and o’s of how to make their retreat dreams a reality.
With so much nitty-gritty to plan and implement, the pitfalls are plentiful.
And if you fall into one of them (or more), you can virtually guarantee to have problems filling your retreat and making the amount of income you desire.
Say it isn’t so!
The key to planning and implementing a retreat is to be strategic above all else. When you take a step by step approach as part of an overall strategy, the benefits are plentiful. You’ll not only feel great about what you’re doing, but you’ll also sleep well at night knowing it’s all part of a blueprint geared toward success.
To get your planning and implementation strategy rolling, we offer these three proven tips for organizing and implementing your retreats:
#1: Don’t Plan a Vacation
The first key to planning and implementing a retreat is to not plan a vacation. You may be surprised to see the name of this first tip. Make no mistake about it though. This is a huge pitfall.
Day after day, we see retreat leaders planning vacations in pretty places and slapping a “retreat” label on them. And when they don’t get the sign-ups they expect, they are left wondering why.
It’s because they planned a vacation – putting together a few fun activities that have no relationship to one another in a popular destination. You might see a trip labeled as a “retreat” that offers swimming with the dolphins, making crafts, and beach massages in Cancun.
Sounds nice, right? Yes, and without some creative spin on these activities, there is no obvious transformation being offered up here.
The problem with planning a vacation and calling it a “retreat” is that there’s no compelling reason to choose to go on the trip WITH YOU. People can travel on their own, and they do. All the time. Have you been to the airport lately?
If they are going to take time out of their hectic lives and spend their hard-earned money following you around the globe, they want to know they are getting something special out of it. Something they can’t get from traveling on their own.
In contrast with a vacation, a retreat offers transformation through experiential adventures designed to offer people ways to become better versions of themselves. A trip to the beach with water shenanigans – even if it’s labeled as a retreat – probably doesn’t do that.
So, the next time you are planning a retreat, make sure it truly is one. Carefully choose a location and experiential activities that are all part of an overall theme that offers up a wallop of transformation for your people. Then, watch it sell!
#2: Have a Mentor
The second key to planning and implementing a retreat is to have a mentor. This is a key pitfall to avoid. Why? Because you don’t know what you don’t know. And chances are, there are a lot of things you don’t know.
Yes, it’s true. Even if you’re an event planner, travel agent or have lead retreats before, we can virtually guarantee that there are blind spots in your retreat packaging, pricing, and marketing.
Why? Because retreats are unique travel experiences that have their own set of requirements and considerations. If you don’t have a seasoned expert guiding your packaging, pricing and marketing, chances are, you will struggle in one way or another. That is until you get the hang of it.
And, you will. However, if you don’t have a mentor by your side, it will take you way longer than it would otherwise. Trust us, we see it every day. Literally.
At this point, we’ve lost count on the number of retreat leaders who have come to us lamenting about their retreats that didn’t sell out, as well as those that didn’t generate much – if any – money.
You wouldn’t jump in a pool if you didn’t know how to swim, would you? So, why would you jump into hosting a retreat when you haven’t been taught how to plan, price, and market one?
Think about that for a moment.
#3: Practice doesn’t Make you Money
The third key to planning and implementing a retreat is to remember that practice doesn’t make you money. Say what? What we mean by this may surprise you.
When you’re just starting out, don’t do a practice retreat! Please, resist the urge.
We get it. You’re new or don’t have as many retreats under your belt as you’d like, and you want to get some more experience. That’s totally normal.
Hear us loud and clear when we say: no one wants to take time out of their busy lives to go on your practice retreat.
No way! Would you want to do that?
We didn’t think so.
Confidence sells. So put together your retreat (with your mentor, of course) and then sell it FULL OUT just as you would your 100th retreat. Yes, we said 100th.
When you come at your retreat with that level of gusto, you will attract people that have that gusto, too. That’s how the law of attraction works.
The key is drop out of your mind, get into your heart, and feel with full conviction every little detail of your retreat rocking and rolling at the highest level possible. Do that every day, and then watch your retreat planning, pricing, and marketing skyrocket!
You’re welcome. 🙂
As a self-proclaimed retreat-junkie, Melanie knows firsthand the power and transformation of traveling with a group of like-minded people who are ready to dive deep into themselves. It’s pure magic!
Melanie has planned, co-facilitated and attended dozens of retreats all over the world and is beyond excited to help other retreat enthusiasts do the same. As a Retreat Blueprint Business Coach & Copywriter, Melanie specializes in helping retreat peeps crank up their businesses & add sparkle to their offerings so they shine to the cosmos and back.