In the planning and organization of retreats of all kinds, be it yoga trips or coaching retreats for entrepreneurs, creativity or TCM, Ayuveda and mindfullness, the coaches always face the same questions. In our section #planning-knowledge we pick up some of these regular questions and answer them based on our experience and considerations.
When do I book the location for my retreat?
When planning and organizing a coaching retreat, the question arises where the seminar should take place. Not only the country or the approximate area is meant here, but also the accommodation. Should you, as a coach, prefer to wait to book an accommodation until you know the exact number of participants, or will the registrations come on their own, if only the place is suitably chosen?
Our recommendation is to book the Retreat accommodation early in the appropriate size. What does that mean in concrete terms?
You have to realize that it makes a huge difference whether you plan your retreat for 8 participants, 15 participants or 25 participants. The daily routines, the planning and preparation of excursions, the food and above all the time and intensity with which you can take care of every single participant, change drastically as the group size changes. Therefore, good retreat planning can never take place without being completely clear on the size of the group size.
Once you have made this clear, you immediately understand that deciding and booking the location is one of the first “hands-on” steps in preparing for your retreat. You do not want your group size to be much larger than originally planned and you do not want the group to be much smaller than planned. All preparatory steps are specific and targeted to a defined group size.
Deciding on a group size is the first thing you do. Then you decide next for an accommodation that can accommodate your targeted group size and possibly still has a buffer of 15% -20%.
This procedure also allows you to plan and monitor costs well. Because it is clear that you do not want to make any economic loss with your retreat. Based on the known cost of accommodation, which usually represents the largest non-variable* position on the bill, you can calculate a participation fee that must be at least reached.
At sun & soul retreats we recommend that around 60% of the planned group size should ensure that all expenses are covered. At 80% of the group size, you will achieve a solid profit as a coach. And if you reach 100% or more of the previously defined group size, you can not get out of the grin ;-).
This is not possible if you book a retreat location that is not appropriate to the target size. If, when planning your retreat, you realize that the demand for your coaching is greater than expected, see it as good news! You’re more experienced and can plan your next retreat in a bigger dimension from the start. By no means should you indulge in the illusion that you will win significantly more participants if you rent a larger location than is actually necessary, possible and realistic for your Reatreat.
Unfortunately, far too many times when planning retreats, the mistake is made to use the venue’s cancellation policy too lightly as an exit from misguided planning in this step. Make sure that you do not pull the cancellation card too often. If you cancel a scheduled retreat one time, your potential customers will look over it generously. There is certainly a very good reason for the cancellation. If you cancel a retreat twice, your competence as a coach and teacher will be questioned by many participants. And dissatisfied feedback is passed 10 times more often than satisfied. So you definitely want to avoid talking badly about the planning of your retreat. If you cancel a retreat three times in the planning phase, you cancel all future retreats at the same time. You will hardly have a chance to convince participants in the future to book with you and also the potential accommodations will think twice if they still block their capacity for you. So please consider the option to cancel a planned retreat as what it is: the last resort, which will only be taken if there is absolutely no other option.
A careful calculation, a good idea of how many participants you can realistically win for your retreat and a well-chosen accommodation are therefore the basis for a successful planning and organization of the retreat.
Plan a retreat with sun & soul
sun & soul is the only specialized tour operator for retreat trips to the Algarve.
- We organize your Retreat / Seminarweek / Coachingwweek / Workation … as a 100% feel good package according to your wishes.
- In the end you pay less for the sum of all services than if you had picked everything out yourself and booked one by one.
- You have your mind free to fully concentrate on your participants.
- As the only provider on the market, our package also includes the legally required insurance for retreat leaders. You will not have to deal with that requirement.
- For each participant of the retreats organized by us, we issue a CO2 tax to atmosfair to make the arrival and departure as climate-neutral as possible. This service is copletely free of charge.
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The selection of the retreat location is one of the most important and at the same time first steps in planning and organizing a retreat.
However, before you book the accommodation, you must be aware of how many participants you can count on. Only then can you take all further steps in attack and plan excursions, etc. meaningful. The economic analysis of your retreat can only be carried out once the location has been determined.
Beware of reserving a location all too often and canceling it later. This is associated with long-term negative effects that go far beyond the damage of a non-optimally booked retreat. Especially if the cost calculation was done as recommended by sun & soul.