THOUGHTS AND INSPIRATION FROM A RETREAT OWNER :: Part 5
YOUR RETREAT IS AROUND THE CORNER: Getting Prepared
It’s a few weeks prior to your arrival. The anticipation is mounting for everyone including you! Here at AHKí, a few weeks prior to arrival we have a protocol we like to follow that helps us help the leader minimize surprises. It may seem like a little extra work, but it’s a nice way to get organized and prepared. We ask for:
Having this information complete and concise, helps your retreat venue make sure that your transportation needs are taken care of, your check-in goes smoothly, all mouths are fed appropriately (and safely!), your schedule is posted in a common location for your participants to refer to throughout the week, plus everyone has been provided a general information sheet prior to arrival, which can help them organize their packing, consider how much cash to bring, what to expect about weather, excursions, locale, etc.
I have found when this information has been left until the last minute, it can create unnecessary chaos and confusion. Our intention is to keep YOUR retreat running as smoothly as possible so YOU look good! The better the communication with your point person at your retreat venue, more smoothly your retreat will run.
YOUR RETREAT WEEK HAS ARRIVED!
Here are just a few more final tips that can help pull things together so you and your group can relax and enjoy an enriching week-long experience.
Ideally, if at all possible, try to get to the retreat location a bit before your group arrives to get the lay of the land. If not, no worries, but do take a few minutes alone with the manager/facilitator of the space and discuss any special needs or concerns you may have.
Don’t over-extend yourself. Make sure YOU have time to regroup, recharge and relax during the week so that you can be present for your attendees. A relaxed and grounded group leader makes for a relaxed and grounded group.
Organize and book activities early in the week, A) so people can get the services and excursions they want, and B) so they can relax and enjoy the rest of the week, knowing things are pretty well set.
Know your key-point person at the retreat facility. There should always be a person that you can go to for your needs, whether it be booking a massage, clarifying a meal modification with the kitchen or needing extra towels. Determine who that person is ahead of time.
Most of all, trust your intuition. If it feels right, then it probably is. And, if YOU feel good about it, so will your attendees. And remember this: the best laid plan is the most flexible one. Have your program set, but be open to the unique dynamic of the group, because each and every group is different. You may decide on a set program and the same location for years to come, but each and every individual plays a part that cannot be predicted.
All in all, cover your bases and set your intention for the highest good of the group and you will have a successful retreat that people will remember for years to come… and very possibly join you on your next retreat!
I hope this has helped! Please, feel free to share your comments!
AUM sweet AUM at AHKí Retreat