I’m back in the country and still processing my most recent retreat. If there was one thing I could have been better with, it would have been taking pictures and videos. Perhaps next time I will hire a photographer!
Besides that though, I did a lot of things right and it was the little things that made people feel truly taken care of.
Keeping in communication: I made sure to prepare everyone for what to expect on travel day, what customs was like and where they could find their shuttles. I got people in group chats who I saw were on the same flights so they could be travel buddies, I made sure to reach out to students when I saw they landed, and I made sure to greet them at the office when their shuttles arrived. My students let me know they felt truly supported on travel day and that they could relax.
Integrating the theme into the week: The theme for my retreat was “A Journey to the Heart” and I tailored my classes to being a space where people fall in love with themselves throughout the week. My daily classes were centered around self-acceptance, creating a judgment-free zone, enjoying freedom of self-expression, gratitude and forgiveness. Drawing upon a theme throughout the whole week can give the retreat a sense of purpose and meaning that will make people want to come back for more.
Knowing the students: When people sign up for a retreat with me, they fill out information about their intentions, experience, injuries, dietary restrictions, and can let me know additional information that they feel is pertinent (maybe disclosing something difficult they’re going through). Preparing myself with this information ahead of time helps me in personalizing my interactions with my students. At the end of the day, we all just want to be heard and seen and taking the time to look at this information can go a long way in connecting with students throughout the week.
These are just a few of the little details that made the week as smooth and fluid as it was. As you can see, creating and executing a successful retreat has a lot of moving parts, but it can be so rewarding in the end and something that I want to share with facilitators. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my beginning years leading retreats and I’ve learned a lot about how to create thoughtful, well-planned experiences that clients will want to come back to again and again.
I look forward to helping you on your journey of hosting your own retreats that are not only exciting and meaningful, but also abundant and profitable.
Schedule a call with me today to start planning your next 2023 retreat