Three Tips For Planning Your Next In-Person Retreat During The Pandemic

Here we are, over a year into the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and still, international travel is limited.

For many of us, the only way we are going to explore the world is through a search on Google Earth!  🙁

Say it isn’t so!

While some countries have done an extraordinary job at containing the virus, others have floundered, leaving so much uncertainty …


Two of the questions we hear the most from retreat leaders these days are:

How and when do I plan my next in-person retreat considering COVID-19?

Yes, we so hear you.

We’ve been doing our homework, and here is where the land lies from our perspective when it comes to planning in-person retreats during this pandemic…

Ready.  Set.  Go!

#1 Greenlight Your In-Person Retreat Planning for 2021, And….

We feel it is a good idea to start planning an in-person retreat for 2021, now.  Generally, it takes a minimum of six to twelve months to plan, market & fill in-person retreats, so getting your in-person retreat plans going is a smart move.  However, there is a catch.

None of us know what the state of the virus and international travel is going to be in the coming months.  While you want to move forward and get going with your in-person retreat plans, it is best to select a venue for your retreat that has a flexible cancellation policy

Worst case scenario is – if you plan your next in-person retreat for 2021 and you have to cancel or move it because of the virus – this will be a huge money (and stress) saver for you!

When you are doing your venue research, get creative.  Reach out to venues.  Ask them about their cancellation and postponement policies in light of COVID-19.  Review their contracts and see what the terms are.  And no matter what, make sure you do not sign any agreements that do not have date flexibility in them.

You will be so glad you did!

#2 Secure Two Sets of Dates for Your Retreat Just in Case

One thing we are seeing people doing is securing two sets of dates for their in-person retreats next year.  This is a great back up plan and marketing tool that gives you and your peeps some peace of mind.

For example, you could certainly plan your retreat for a week in May 2021 but have a back up plan of September 2021 if indeed you and your people cannot travel by May 2021.  On your retreat sales page, you could list both sets of dates and tell your people way ahead of time that you have prepared this back up plan just in case.

Giving people these details this far in advance is a good thing, as it allows them to mark their calendars, so they hold both weeks next year just in case.  You also appear organized and on top of things, which certainly will boost your people’s confidence in your leadership as a retreat leader.  Talk about a win-win.

And, when it comes to selecting dates for next year, we would not choose dates at the beginning of the year – just in case.  Pick dates that are at least a few months in to give yourself and your people some breathing room!  

Fingers crossed. 

#3 Make Sure You Have Comprehensive Legal Forms & A Cancellation Policy That Protects Your Butt

With everything that is going on right now, many people are extra sensitive about their money, obligations & agreements.  Therefore, you want to make sure you have two things in place before you start marketing your in-person retreat … a robust cancellation policy as well as locked and loaded legal forms.

A cancellation policy is key because it governs the terms of someone’s purchase of your retreat on your website or landing page.  And it has got to be crystal clear about when money is due, when the balance is due, and what happens in the event of a postponement or cancellation, among other things.  You do not want to market your retreat without one!

Also, you want to have super star legal forms — which talk about what happens in the case of a cancellation or postponement because of something like a pandemic.  These forms are so essential because no matter what, you’ll know you have dotted all of your I’s and crossed all your T’s when it comes to your liability.

If there is one thing 2020 has taught us, it is that anything can and probably will happen.  Even if you plan your in-person retreat for 2021 and all looks well with the virus and travel, you could still end up having to postpone or cancel your in-person retreat if something changes.

When you have a comprehensive cancellation policy and legal forms in place, you can rest assured.

Ahhhh yes!

Want to learn some great tips for creating and selling out your next retreat?

Whether this is your very first retreat or you’ve been running them for years – we’ve got a couple of awesome free trainings for you to help you design the most amazing retreat, as well as pricing it to make a profit, getting it sold out, learning retreat legalities, monetizing your retreats and so much more!! If you are interested, simply click below and you will go to our free training page where you can choose whichever training resonates best with you.

To your wanderlust life & business,
Melanie Scott, Retreat Blueprint Coach @ Retreat Blueprint Program

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.  

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