How to Host a Memorable Retreat (2020)

Stepping away from our hectic lifestyles as we get some much-needed rest, is essential in improving both our personal and professional lives. As busy people, we require some time to recharge ourselves in nature, rejuvenate our spirits, and find inner peace. We all need periods of solitude to truly reflect on what’s going on with our lives.

That’s why retreats can be so useful. They are incredible avenues for disconnecting with daily routines and discovering fresh approaches to doing things. Surrounded by people with similar interests, we get to recover our energy while creating unforgettable experiences.

Many people relish retreats as attendees, and very few do as hosts. You can be among the few by hosting a program of your own and building your network connections.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to host a successful retreat and still enjoy the experience.

What do you do on a retreat?

Activities and topics vary from one retreat to another. However, some practices are universal. For example, in almost every resort expect some dedicated time for rest and reflection, talks from a renowned speaker, and exercises to process on life experiences.

What are the types of retreats you can host?

  1. Glamping

Dubbed as ”luxurious camping,” glamping has grown in popularity in recent times. And it’s easy to see why. People enjoy all the benefits of nature, as they make it their home for a few days, without all the hassles of camping. You don’t interact with scary insects and peculiar toilets, and there are no hectic chores like fire making and tent pitching.

The best part, however, is that you reconnect with nature. You get to enjoy the beautiful scenery, breathe fresh air, have normal day and night sleep patterns, and savor diverse animals as they go about their day in forests and mountains.

There’s a lot to do in glamping retreats. You can participate in hiking, canoeing, wine tasting, and many other activities. Time flies when you’re having such a good time, and as soon as your retreat ends, you’ll be drooling for the next trip.

You can take advantage of this opportunity by hosting a glamping retreat of your own. You can invite your guests to an unforgettable experience in nature, where they’ll detach themselves from the noisy world.

  1. Yoga Retreats

A lot of people love Yoga for its benefits – it improves flexibility, develops strength and balance, and boosts athletic performance. Despite this, most adults find it challenging to make time for the practice because they are overwhelmed by their busy schedules.

Well, a Yoga retreat provides ample time for such people to engage in the beautiful practice without any distractions. Even the most experienced practitioners can take the time to improve and deepen their knowledge of Yoga.

When planning a Yoga retreat, ensure you assemble a few capable instructors. Most people attend Yoga programs to learn from the coaches they love. One or two reputable instructors may come with some of their followers and students.

Also, practitioners crave for extra time with their instructors. Beyond class time, many people barely ever have one-on-ones or conversations with coaches. A retreat is the best place to connect practitioners with instructors who’ll guide them on their yoga journey and give them attention.

If you’re not a yoga coach yourself, you can scout for the best available instructors at your budget and pitch to them your program idea.

How do you price a retreat?

Balancing between making a profit and not overcharging your attendees can overwhelm you, especially if it’s your first time hosting.

Here are a few things that’ll help you establish a fair price:

1. Cost per attendee

Calculate the amount for necessities like food, space, and accommodation fees, but exclude flight costs and any other expendable fees.

2. Personal Compensation

Reducing your profit to attract a lot of attendees may seem like a good idea, but may cripple your finances in the long run. If you want to continue hosting successful retreats, you’ll need to have an entrepreneur’s mindset.

In your calculations, account for the time you’ve spent planning the retreat and your travel fees.

How do you host a successful retreat?

1. Collaborate with other professionals

A lot happens in retreats — you can have a difficult time coordinating all the activities alone. Contact your mentor, health coach, or any professional you’ve previously worked with, and sell them your idea. If you have a clearly defined plan, most of them will be happy to work with you.

Partnering with other professionals can enlarge your network and boost the attendance of your retreat. You can even execute your plan better as you’ll be capitalizing on all your partner’s strengths.

Even if you’re happy working alone, you’ll at least need an assistant to help you get things in order. You can scout for an intern in a nearby wellness facility if your budget is limited.

2. Keep in touch with attendees

Build some excitement days leading up to the event. Create a Facebook group or a text thread to organize your guests and make them crave the retreat experience. Chatting with them can help you know some of their personalities, as you build bonds. Even if you’ve only invited your friends, you should at least communicate with them to make proper arrangements.

Assuming the event goes well, your attendees can start planning for the next retreat.

3. Find a perfect venue

Glamorous hotels and resorts are expensive and can burn a hole in your pocket, especially if you include your compensation in the total budget. A lot of inexperienced hosts either chose a cheap venue that doesn’t live up to expectations and minimize costs or go full-on lux and end up not making any profit.

While we’ve been preaching on saving money, you should remember that people attend retreats to freshen up, rejuvenate, and disconnect from their daily routines. Your venue should create a tranquil atmosphere that allows people to relax and have a good time. That means you’ll need to find an affordable place that’s also a bit luxurious. Doing this, you’ll provide a venue people will enjoy, and you’ll still make some profit.

Considering the venue depletes a lot of your budget, it’s advisable to delay paying for it until you receive attendance numbers. Only book a site once you have a clear picture of how many people are attending.

4. Organize meals

While planning your retreat, take into account your guests’ meal preferences, and have a variety of meal plans in place. Some people prefer cooking their own meals, others prefer vegetarian diets, and others prefer non-vegetarian foods. Consult your group and ask for meal suggestions. That way, you’ll design a meal plan that accommodates every attendee.

5. Coordinate payments

Provide various payment methods so that participants can easily buy tickets. Set a strict deadline that suits you and offer a refund policy. Make it clear to guests that if they cancel attendance, you’re willing to refund money.

6. Bring in seasoned speakers 

While enlisting acclaimed speakers can attract plenty of participants, it can also cost you a lot of money that you’d have otherwise used elsewhere. You can, however, compromise with the following ways:

  • Hold teleseminars. Even though it’s not the most attractive option, getting your speakers to teleconference allows your guests to listen to an influential person while you reduce expenses.

  • Create a timetable that involves a lot of exercises.

  • Allow attendees to discuss topics in an open forum. They can share their recent experiences, talk about their goals, and confer about their problems. The group can also come up with ideas and make resolutions as a team. Announce in your pre-retreat group you’ll be having presentations during the retreat, and include possible topics you might discuss. This method boosts the spirit of togetherness and teamwork in the group, as each member works to improve themselves.

How do you market a retreat?

For any event to be a success, the marketing needs to be superb. Devise an effective marketing campaign that draws a lot of people to your retreat. You need to interest people by putting the word out. The higher the number of people who receive your message, the more likely you are to succeed.

Consider setting up adverts on social media curated for specific groups of people. You can promote your event on Yoga or wellness groups on Facebook or create a hashtag on Twitter and have niche influencers promote it.

You can even create brochures and distribute them to a supply store or design flyers and hand them out in a Yoga center. Remember, if you run a half-hearted campaign, you’re only setting yourself up for failure.

Final Thoughts

Hosting a retreat doesn’t have to be as challenging as many people make it out to be. You can follow the above guidelines, and you’ll be well on your way to accomplishing your dream.

That said, at Samasati, we provide the perfect venue for group gatherings, weddings, and retreats. Want some marketing help? We’ll help with your advertisements. Want assistance in coordinating activities? We’ll offer the resources to ensure your retreat runs smoothly.