If you have a service-based business focused on transformation, it’s essential to host events and/or retreats for your clients. People love to get together. We love to meet each other, hear each other’s ideas and gain support. Not to mention the depth of transformation that’s possible when you’re face-to-face.
Connecting is a basic human need – and you can support your clients by bringing them together. You can also gain new clients in the process! Isolation kills dreams, promotes depression and can make it difficult to stay positive and keep your vision alive. Hosting your own event or retreat is the solution for many reasons.
Your clients will feel more connected to you when they meet and resonate with your other like-minded clients. Sometimes in life and business people can’t find people like them. When you bring all your clients and potential clients together and they find each other they are grateful to you and they want to keep coming together with you over and over – which keeps them in your client network.
A big part of why events and retreats make smart business sense is because all you have to do is plan and produce the event or retreat. The people who attend provide the magic ingredient with their participation.
Here are just a few of the questions to answer to help you produce a successful event or retreat:
1. What is the purpose of your event or retreat?
Is it to have everyone get rejuvenated and reignited to live their dreams? To make new friends in a structured setting? To have hands-on support for social media in a relaxed environment? Pick a purpose before you do anything else.
2. What do you want to call your retreat?
It’s important to give your retreat a name that will stand out; a name that you can brand; a name that signifies a signature event that you can conduct year after year; a name that people will remember that will build buzz over time.
3. When do you want to host your event or retreat?
I encourage you to give yourself plenty of time, especially for your first event. Also, the higher the ticket price (and the longer the event) the more time you need to plan and promote.
A caveat to this though is to not take too much time. Your first event is not going to be the best one. It’s okay! You learn – and get ready – in getting it done. Three months (for example) is a good amount of time to plan and deliver your first one-day event.
4. Where do you want to host your event retreat?
Even if you have not selected the exact location, consider what type of place you want to host your retreat. It could be in someone’s home or at a hotel, mountain cabin, retreat center, or spa.
5. How many people do you want to have at your event or retreat?
This is a key question. Most people over estimate the number of people they want the first time. It’s okay to have a small event the first time (some events have as few as 4 people and are quite successful). This way you can keep your attention on delivering an awesome event – and don’t have to work as hard or put all your attention on filling the room.
6. What do you plan to do at the retreat?
The biggest rookie mistake event producers make when planning their first event is over scheduling the program. The participants will want breaks, and time to connect with each other. Most people want an interactive program with discussions, exercises and question & answer time.
If you are doing a retreat know that your attendees will want down time to reflect, get a massage or take a walk. Do not schedule out every second. Include plenty of breathing room in the agenda.
7. What are the costs to produce your retreat?
Do not guess at this. Instead, carefully consider everything you will need to pay for: meals, accommodations, materials, and perhaps transportation costs. Add up everything and divide that by the number of people you plan to sign up – to get your cost per attendee.
8. What are you going to charge?
Once you know your costs, you can determine what to charge to break even and of course, make some money. Also, no one can sign up until they know the price. Just be sure the price is greater than your cost to ensure it’s profitable for you!
9. Who are you going to get to help you?
If you want to make this a success you have to realize that you cannot do it all on your own. You want to focus on what is the highest and best use of your time… the design of the event and the program and inviting people to come. Leave the details to someone who has event or retreat planning experience. Think about all the things other people can help you with – and have them assist you! That way your event will be more successful and you won’t be stressed out when the day arrives.
10. What are you going to offer at your retreat to generate more revenue?
At every retreat or event you produce, you can add an additional income stream by not just relying on front-door ticket sales, but on what you can offer the attendees once they are at your retreat. You can offer another retreat, one-on- one coaching, group coaching, regular gatherings and/or products that support the topic of your retreat. These are just a few ideas. With reflection you can come up with many more.
These are a few questions to answer to get you started. Transformational events and retreats are a wonderful way to build community, keep your clients coming back and deliver a ton more value for the people you serve. Begin planning your event or retreat today and see how lucrative it can be. Making money while hanging out with great people—what could be better?
Caterina Rando, MA, MCC, shows women how to massively monetize their mastery through public speaking and hosting their own events and retreats. She hosts over 90 events a year. She is a master certified coach, speaker and the creator of the ENLIVEN Summit: Plan, Produce and Profit from Women’s Events and Retreats. To download Caterina’s free audio with more great info on doing events and retreats or to find out about the ENLIVEN Summit visit: www.enlivensummit.com Apply promo code CK500 for a deep discount on your registration. You can reach Caterina at 415-668-4535 or via email at [email protected]