Retreats should be a relaxing, educational experience for all participants and the coach. In order to succeed and the process does not degenerate into stress, a successful and good planning of the retreat is essential.
Here are a few tips on what to look out for when planning your retreat.
1) Allow enough time for planning, organization and preparation.
Planning a retreat is a complex process. There are a lot of cogs that need to mesh and match. Here are very different topics such as
- Questions about taxes
- Questions about the necessary insurance
- Questions about the program planning and organization
- Questions about the perfect location
- Questions about the food
- Questions about the marketing
- Questions about the design of the coaching / training
relevant. Each of these points alone could fill a separate blog post or even entire bookbindings (browse a bit in our blog, about much we have already written).
If you want to plan everything yourself, take at least 10-12 months to prepare for the retreat. As so often in life, good advice is worth gold. So try to get as many tips as possible from experts or colleagues who have previously held retreats.
You should definitely make a clear schedule and stick to it. Without such a plan, it is almost impossible to prioritize the tasks properly and to have everything prepared precisely to the start of the retreat. Helping you to plan all your peripheral affairs, everything that is not directly related to your coaching, will save you a lot of time and stress, and possibly money. You can put the gained time in a better preparation and execution of the coaching and more time for your participants during the retreat. This is a huge added value that will positively impact your customers’ experience and future retreats.
2) Find a location that offers the right atmosphere.
A retreat or coaching trip is about retiring from everyday life. Emotional topics are often treated and it is absolutely essential that a private atmosphere and a goal-oriented group dynamic develop. This is only possible in suitable accommodations. It is not possible in hotel complexes in which the common areas besides the own group are also used by other guests. A we-feeling can never come at the pool of a hotel, on which still dozens or even hundreds of other hotel guests are lying. Even in large retreat centers, where several groups of retreat participants are accommodated in parallel, as in mass processing, an appropriate atmosphere can hardly be developed.
It is therefore recommended to offer retreats in suitable holiday homes, which offer the location and equipment that is necessary for the achievement of the goal of the retreat.
Private retreat venues from sun & soul
sun & soul organizes your retreat in private holiday homes in the Algarve. Have a look in our portfolio that is on our site or contact us.
We will search within the countless number of holiday villas in the Algarve and find the perfect match for you.
Don’t struggle with all the work. Let us be your guarantee for a perfect retrat by offering your participants a sun & soul retreat in a private holiday home.
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3) Compile a finely tuned program.
Depending on the subject of your retreat, your participants want to be offered an appealing supporting program. This is also important to set you apart from the countless other retreats out there and to attract the right number of customers with your retreat. A hotel room and an hour of yoga or a seminar session a day are not yet a retreat. The supporting program is therefore the salt in the soup and makes your offer for potential participants even more attractive.
The ideal supporting program is tailored to the topic of your coaching trip or retreat. If your journey is about connecting with nature, it makes sense to offer walks or meditation under old olive trees. If the spiritual horizon is more on the agenda, a guided tour of a historic city or a cultural workshop could be the right thing for you and your travel group. If it’s just for relaxation, a walk on the beach, a massage or even a long beach day will probably be the excursion of your choice.
Therefore, make sure during your retreat planning that you offer an attractive social program that fits the destination of the trip.
4) Think about how to market the retreat in time.
There are many ways you can market your retreat. Post flyers, advertise your coaching week on one of the many websites that specialize in marketing retreat travel, turn on Facebook Ads, or rely on the power of word-of-mouth advertising. Everything can work. But to successfully market your retreat, it’s essential that you think about which methods are right for you and your participants. Instagram has a high reach. But do you really master this medium and do you enjoy creating and posting pictures regularly? Is your target audience on Facebook at all, or would it be wasted working hours trying to attract participants there?
There are many marketing tips and at least as many “professionals” claiming to have the holy grail of marketing. Do not believe everything you read, but be critical, ask yourself what suits you and what can work in your case.
The best marketing is still a well-planned retreat, offered at a reasonable price, and in the medium term, your resulting history and reputation as a retreat leader. Once you’ve defined your marketing strategy, start contacting your potential customers as soon as possible.
5) Know the costs accurately and set a reasonable price for the retreat.
With all the idealism and heart and soul that you are in your retreat, do not forget that this is a professional project. You have to make sure that you earn something. Therefore, you must define an appropriate participation fee for the retreat that reflects and rewards the quality of your coaching, accommodation, food and social program. Neither a too high price, nor a too low price are beneficial for you.
You must therefore know all costs as early as possible and as precisely as possible. These include the exact cost of the accommodation, the price of the food, but also all costs for shuttle services and of course the marketing costs. Do not forget to make your own margin appropriate. Again, neither being too high nor too low would be meaningful and purposeful.
Please also consider that taxes may be charged on your retreat and that there are probably other tax laws applying to the travel, than to your coaching. Here is a detailed information and the use of good advice absolutely essential. Undelivered or deferred taxes can lead to far-reaching consequential problems.
It is also worthwhile to seek advice
As you can see, planning and organizing a retreat is a complex process. It is worthwhile to proceed systematically here and to seek help. Only through a well-prepared retreat and accurate knowledge of pitfalls, options and solutions to individual problems before and during the journey can you ensure that the event becomes an enriching and rewarding experience for you and your participants.
Your retreat should always be based on the customer. Make sure that you are there for your guests during the retreat, that you can listen to them and respond to questions and problems quickly and reliably without causing any stress to you. Because if you’re busy improvising solutions and responding to all sorts of issues during the journey, your coaching or lessons will not necessarily get your full attention. This inevitably leads to dissatisfied participants. Therefore try to outsource everything that is not your core competency. This will allow you to fully focus on your participants during the retreat, laying the foundation for your next retreat with satisfied customers.
You also save a great deal of time and money when planning your trip and your bookkeeping effort is drastically reduced.
If you would like to know more about sun & soul or have any questions about planning a retreat on your own or with sun & soul, do not hesitate to contact us.
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