Where to find Guests for a Retreat

THE MOST ASKED QUESTION BY RETREAT ORGANISERS:
“HOW TO FIND MORE GUESTS?”

Everybody wants to get rid of stress, especially professional stress, and the best method to do this is to connect to nature; attend a retreat. And when it comes to retreats, there are various types of them like religious retreats, sports retreats, etc. But what is common to almost every one of these retreat types is the decline of the number of guests that attend them. If you are an organizer, then it is important that you know how you can find more guests.

Keep Registration Simple                                 
Many retreats have a long and tiresome registration. This is a reason that drives many people away from attending that particular retreat. No one would want to spend a lot of time on a pen-paper registration. Also, no one would want to share all the personal information about themselves in this manner. So primarily, it is to be ensured that the registration is kept simple and straightforward and the information that is asked should be peripheral. Make sure to not ask a lot of personal questions during the registration process but also to not leave any necessary details. Try to switch to online registration since it saves a lot of time and the person can book/register from his/her home/workplace.

Make Plans Calmly
Most of the retreats that go without finding guests are organized by inexperienced people. So, make sure that you have an experienced mind among the organizers of your retreat. Experience ensures that all the plans are made with calmness. Thinking and making plans under stress are not productive at all. There are numerous loopholes in a plan that is made under stress. Various portions of the retreat would be left unattended and this should be avoided at all costs. So, take your time to make the plan.

Choose the Guests Yourself
All promotions and advertisements are intended for potential guests. Different retreats would have different intentions and hence the targeting process is a very important one. This means that all retreats wouldn’t be interesting to all the categories of people. If you are able to find the category that is best suited for your program, only then would you be able to ensure that your retreat would get the maximum number of guests. For example, if you are planning to conduct a sports retreat then the students would be the best category to look for. Various targeted promotional activities can be adopted in order to ensure maximum attendance.

Advertising/Promoting the Program
Advertisements and promotions should be well planned and executed. Various methods like the usage of social media & visual media are available today. The tricky part is to use these methods efficiently. If the promotional works backfire, then there are chances that the guests’ number would drastically remove. If you are planning to conduct a retreat at a large scale, hiring a public relations team or an advertising team would not be a very bad decision. If required, make visits to various institutions like offices, schools, etc. in order to provide the retreat a wide reach among the people. There is nothing wrong with spending money on advertisements because, without them, the returns from conducting the program would suffer.

Set Schedules Carefully
Once the retreat has begun, the responsibility of the organizers is to ensure that the guests are not bored in any manner, for people today get bored very easily. Especially in case of religious retreats. Always keep in mind that if the guests are bored this time, they are likely not going to visit the next time. So, it is important to make the retreat an interesting one if you plan to conduct the retreat again. A well-structured schedule is the backbone of a retreat. So, ensure that you make an entertaining schedule for your guests.

Use an Eye-Catching Theme
Most people would only like to be a part of something that is attractive to the eye. So, the theme is one of the most important parts of a retreat. Make sure that your retreat has a unique and attractive theme. If required, bring in a designer who is experienced in the field and let him do the designing bit. Also, the theme is quite important while publishing on social and other visual media.

Do Not Forget the Previous Guests
There is nothing better than having people talking highly about your retreat. If you are able to achieve this, then it is certain that there would be numerous guests who would wish to take part in the retreat. Make sure that you have a list of the previous guests along with their contact numbers and email IDs. A monthly mail describing the future retreats to these guests wouldn’t do any harm. On the other hand, many of them would be wanting to take part in another retreat.

Focus on the core of the Retreat
Many retreats fail to become a success because the core subject or topic is not given the primary importance. But at the same time, extracurricular activities like games and songs should also be there. In fact, the retreat should be a perfect blend of all the ingredients.

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