It’s easy to get overwhelmed with ideas when planning your first retreat. This is mainly because hosting a retreat is like running a small business. To understand what’s involved, we have broken the process down into three major categories.
Choose a destination. There are so many beautiful locations around the world, pick the one that resonates most with you (and somewhere your students will want to travel to). Then find a venue able to accommodate your must haves (rooms for a specific number of guests, a space to practice yoga, proximity to excursions, access to airport, etc).
Decide when to host the retreat. The season, weather, and availability will all be important factors beyond your own personal schedule, as well as leaving time to plan and promote. We suggest leaving at least four to six months to promote and sell your retreat, and once you get into the retreat game you should always be planning your retreat calendar for the year ahead.
Set a per person budget. You need to make sure the retreat is listed at a price both affordable to your clientele and profitable to you.
Create a schedule. This can’t wait until you and your attendees arrive and be done on the fly. Your prospective students will want to see the program before signing up, in order to know the highlights of each day, what is offered and why they should choose your retreat over the numerous others up for offer.
Lists, lists, lists. Gathering all kinds of information (emergency, dietary, arrival/departure times, etc.) from your students and providing it to all of your partners in advance is a must.
Create a welcome package. You will want to make sure your students have a packet of what to expect before they arrive, and are greeted with all of the details clearly laid out for the week ahead. A nice perk to add to this, is having a goodie bag with local and related items to use through the week or take home after the retreat wraps up.
In order to secure dates for a retreat, most venues require a non-refundable 10-50% deposit to confirm group bookings. This is where reality clicks in and although the deposit is usually usable towards a future retreat (in the case of cancellation), this still means a commitment to hosting a retreat. It may seem scary, but this weasels out the daydreamers from those ready to put in the work (and reap the rewards).
At Adzenture Retreats, we work with you at no cost to you. We negotiate with our venue partners to ensure your room and food is always complimentary. You will have to book your flight, but that again can be absorbed into the profit you stand to make as you fill the spots for your retreat.
Plan for cancellations. You need to come up with a set of rules for this before you begin selling your retreat. Both you and your students need to be prepared for how they will be handled, so be transparent.
Teachers stand to make a significant profit from hosting a retreat. The exact total here is ultimately determined by you, your experience, how much your fee per student is, and how many spots you open up (and fill). Our clients can expect to make $300-$800 USD per student for leading a 6-night yoga retreat (multiply this by 10 students and you can make between $3000-$8000 USD). For more on this breakdown read our blog “Why Host a Yoga Retreat.”
3. Marketing and Communication
Promote and sell your retreat! This means thinking about who you want to take on your journey with you. Reaching out to your local following is a great start, but be prepared to budget for digital marketing strategies like Facebook and Instagram ads.
You will need to house the sales of your retreat, i.e. a website or a commission based site like wetravel or bookyogaretreats.com. Make sure the site you select accepts payment by credit card; along with allowing you to provide full retreat details, and a way to contact you with questions.
Fielding students’ questions. This means letting them know exactly what to expect during the retreat including logistics, schedule, signing liability waivers, travel insurance, country entry requirements/visas, and even providing a list of what to pack.
Phew, that’s a lot! We hope this list hasn’t scared you away, but if you have made it this far it’s a sign of your commitment and your readiness to host a retreat. While we acknowledge there is a lot to consider and plan for, hiring us ensures you’ve got someone with you every step of the way. You let us know your vision, find the people who are going to accompany you on this life changing journey, and then show up and do what you do best; share your yoga practice!