You know your stuff, you have a comprehensive website, marketing materials and customers who depend on your services, but can you do more to earn money by sharing your expertise? Absolutely!
A targeted or niche business retreat may be the missing link in your business plan. Hosting a business retreat can not only help your current customers get to know you in a different genre, it may open the door to new customers who are looking for a more intimate approach to learning about your expertise and what services you can offer them.
When creating a plan for your retreat, there are many elements to think about and execute to make the experience enjoyable for both you and your participants.
As with all events, the success of the retreat largely depends on the preparation. Get this right and the retreat will not only give amazing value, but it will be an unforgettable experience for all involved. Working with someone familiar with retreat planning is always advisable to help ensure success. Many virtual assistants are skilled in planning, executing and providing follow-up assistance at the end of the retreat
Here are 5 important starter steps when planning a business retreat.
- When should you hold the retreat?
Take into consideration holidays, and give yourself plenty of time to market your retreat. Decide what months make the most sense for not only you, but your customer base. There is no magic solution to picking the date, and it may take some trial and error, but think about if a weekend retreat would work better, or if doing it during the week will get better traction.
- How long will the retreat last?
This is where preparation is key. Think about your ability to sustain your energy level throughout the day, and ensure that the retreat duration is enough for the material you plan to teach. You may also want to make sure your retreat location has other activities your guests can enjoy during any downtime. This could include quiet sitting areas, hiking trails, a health and wellness spa, or workout room.
- Where will it be held?
What ever location you choose, be sure to visit it in person. Decide if you want a formal or informal setting. A retreat is usually meant to generate ideas and mastermind discussions, so make sure the environment is appropriate. Talk to the event coordinator and be sure you get everything in writing. Be clear on lodging expectations, pricing, and food accommodations. Nothing is worse than having unexpected surprises when your retreat customers arrive.
- How will you market your retreat?
This is where a virtual assistant can be a huge asset to you. Have them place Facebook ads, create email marketing campaigns, tweet about it using an appropriate #hashtag. Advertise the retreat in popular online retreat directories such as http://www.retreatfinder.com and http://www.retreatsonline.com, create a video series that can be shared on social media, offer partial scholarship opportunities.
- Create a retreat program
Determine your daily objective. Use graphics, charts and graphs if appropriate. Be sure your branding and contact information is clear and included on the program. Have this printed program available to all guests. Make sure your powerpoint presentation (if you are using one) matches this program so that your presentation is cohesive.