Retreats are now like sand by the sea. That does not just have good sides. Because the times when it was sufficient to lay out a few flyers to fill the spots of your retreat are long gone. So what’s up at a retreat? What is the most important thing to find enough participants for your retreat even today? That’s the question we answer in this post.
What does the Retreat Market look like at the moment?
Retreats are on everyone’s lips. Whether yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Lifecoaching, team building, regeneration, nutrition, wellness, mindfulness …. Not an issue for which there are counseling, training and courses that will not be treated on a retreat.
That makes perfect sense. No question at all. But it does mean that you are not alone with your retreat. There will always be a variety of other retreats that deal essentially with the same topic as you. Where does that come from? Of course, because word has spread that you can earn good money with a retreat. Which coach does not want to part with the cake?
Unfortunately, it has become so, that many retreats have to be canceled by the coaches because not enough participants have registered. This is bad for the participants who have already booked. It is bad for the coach and it is bad for the accommodation and all the other companies and service providers who had blocked their capacity for retrorat and then suddenly stood without a job. This trend has also led some homes to stop accepting requests for retreats or require service providers to pay a very high non-refundable deposit when it comes to retreats.
The supply of retreats just got bigger than the demand. So how can you make sure you do not feel like you, like many other retreat leaders? How do you ensure that your retreat receives the necessary number of participants and that your retreats will be a lasting success for everyone involved?
Many basic tips we have already given in other posts. These are all from the category “be realistic”. Because that’s the most important thing when planning a retreat.
- Do not underestimate the planning effort..
- Do not underestimate the on-site care..
- Secure yourself.
- Concentrate on your core competences.
- Give the responsibility for the setting and execution of all peripheral tasks to an expert.
- Pay attention to the right atmosphere.
- Be sure at an early stage how many participants you can count on.However, these are all tips that pertain to planning and marketing, and basically, these are all topics where sun & soul helps you. But the most important question for you is, how do I make sure there is a demand for my retreat at all?
Why should a guest take part in your retreat?
The rules of the market economy are simple: if you offer a product that has more demand than supply, you will be able to market your product. If there is more supply than demand, nobody buys you. The only chance you have of finding participants for your retreat in the event of a supply overhang is to lower the price.
You are then very quickly in a downward spiral from a low price, along with the need to cancel program points or to save on accommodation. The result is that your participants are no longer willing to pay the price, because there are other offers in which more is offered for the same price, or where there is the same content at a cheaper price, etc.
In the end, no one earns more money and most retreat leaders give up unnerved.
You absolutely must avoid this situation.
Luckily, retreats are something that attendees are happy to pay a high price for when the offer is good.
That’s why you have to differentiate yourself from the mass of one pack of retreats that can only work through a price war. You need to provide reasons why attendees are booking your retreat and no other.
There are only three ways you can do it.
- added value
- added value
- added value
"Yoga each day and a juice don't make it detox"
Nazir Sacoor, CEO of the wellness hotel chain Longevity Worldwide, put it well in his presentation at the “Algarve Torusim Conference 2019”.
“Yoga each day and a juice don’t make it detox”
Crucial to a retreat is that you give your participants something they can benefit from over the long term, even beyond the end of the retreat. If you’re hosting a detox retreat, after the retreat your clients need to know how to feed themselves to stay healthy.
When you organize an Ayurveda Retreat, after the retreat, your guests need to know what they can do differently in the long run to keep them going.
You have to add value to your participants. Your retreat must clearly address a specific question and provide an answer to it. This is how you set yourself apart from the crowd. So you prevent that you organize a retreat, such as 1000 others and so you escape the vortex of price cuts and loss of subscribers.
What problem do you solve on your retreat?
So at sun & soul, we always ask the most important of all questions first: What problem do you solve on your retreat?
You have to have a crystal clear answer to this question. If you do not have an answer yet, no problem: just think about it. Once you have an answer, we can get into the planning.
Building on the answer to this question, we can plan the perfect location, the right catering and the perfect supporting program from excursions to wellness sessions.
The marketing of the retreat will be much easier. Because what you offer is more than just a holiday with yoga and half board. You are leading a retreat. During your trip, the participants take something for the future. You offer a real added value. Therefore, the participants are also willing to pay a participation fee, which corresponds to the value of the travel services and sufficiently rewarded your coaching.
Marketing a retreat is not hard when it comes to more than a pure vacation with a little bit of yoga.
Offer your guests added value. Address a clearly defined problem and help your participants solve it or find an answer. Focus on your guests and make sure they have a long-term benefit from participating in the retreat. Pass responsibility for everything else from planning, organization to execution to a service provider. (We at sun & soul will be happy to help.) Then you will have no trouble marketing the spots of your retreat.
What do you think about that?
Have you already organized retreats that did not market well? Have you ever had to cancel a retreat or were your retreats always well filled and could you call for a reasonable price?
Let us know your experience.