I Held a Retreat!

Jul 6, 2022 | Uncategorized

I created a retreat

(and made it happen all within three weeks)

I didn’t go on a course or follow a plan but if you’d like to know how I did it here you go!

This is how it started:

I had a compulsion to create a space for women to just be for a day. It was imperative it was held within school hours and it had to include an element of relaxation, learning, and nutrition!

I had a vision of a barn – no idea why but that was how I saw the venue for the retreat.

I went to a breakfast network event at a local-ish hotel and the venue manager was a previous photography client from way back before I became a parent (approx 13 years). I said hello!

I asked how I could go about hiring a room and if any were available – I was given a tour, the last room was a barn!

I then let myself be vulnerable and asked for support to make it happen. I used the expertise of others and their zones of genius which are certainly not mine.

Basically, all the stuff that is behind the scenes that make it happen! It would seem I created a team around me.

And my zone of genius turns out to be communicating, articulating my vision, and holding space for others.

I sent out a market research form to my contacts and mailing list, I then didn’t fully adhere to that research as I booked the barn on the only day that was available which was a Thursday, most responses to my research said they would be able to attend on a Friday! (The main area of market research I did pay attention to was the pricing.)

Now I had the barn booking secured I started to reverse engineer what else needed to be ticked off to make the vision a reality.

My next crucial objective was to secure a guest speaker and yoga teacher and then sell it!

With serendipity on my side, I joined a Facebook group, introduced myself and where I was based and someone local-ish said hi! We had a chat and it turns out this woman is a nutritionist and hormonal health expert – amazing! Would she like to be my guest speaker about something that women want to know more about and have open (and frank) discussions about – perimenopause? Yes please was the answer, boom! I had secured my guest speaker!

My yoga teacher happens to be my sister-in-law who was available for that date and was very happy to lead a class and meditation. Both ideas that I had vaguely mentioned in my ‘lives’ on social media were now confirmed and happening. I knew I was going to lead a coaching session so the retreat was formed.

Now onto the sales!

I set my ticket number way too high; started at 15, then took it down to 10. The final number of ticket sales was 4! There were 7 of us in total though, so we got to enjoy a lovely buffet of delicious (and nutritious) food. Thankfully, I had reduced the covers from 15 to 8 just before the deadline, food waste was not something I wanted to contribute to (plus the excess expense).

I went full-on with getting visible across my social channels: Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I had an ad created that went on Instagram and Facebook and I got very bored of myself talking endlessly about the retreat. However, a golden nugget a coach had told me was that everyone else was not going to get bored of me, I had to keep repeating the message of what I was offering online and at in-person networking events to spread the word and nurture sales.

It worked. I created a retreat.

After the event I sent out a feedback questionnaire for all attendees and experts, their feedback was invaluable in helping me shape my next retreat into an even better experience.

This crazy little ride has taught me so much, primarily that what I put my mind to I can achieve. It just took getting out of my own way, telling my ego to be quiet and being consistent with my visibility and messaging. The right people DID find me and as they say, ‘build it and THEY will come.’

I’d love to know if you have found this useful, let me know with a comment below.


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