Travel is one of my personal favorite things to do, because it makes me feel free and like the world truly is my oyster. Over the last couple of years, I’ve hosted retreats in Costa Rica, Scotland, Italy, Hawaii, Portugal, and the Bahamas (where the video below was filmed!).
So today, I want to talk to you about how to build a real lifestyle business that allows you to travel by offering destination retreats like these for your clients. For all the specific details you need to know to plan and execute an amazing experience for yourself and your clients and make your next retreat a big success, watch the video below or simply read on.
1. Choose A Theme And Purpose
The first thing you want to do is get really clear about the purpose – why you’re actually hosting the retreat. What kind of experience do you want to create? What is the desired outcome? You can think about creating a very luxurious, high end experience, or creating a very natural outdoorsy type of experience. Do you want to coach and educate, or do you want your clients to really transform and challenge themselves?
Now that you’ve thought about why you’re hosting the retreat, you can begin to think about where you can create an experience that will really allow you to make that vision a reality.
2. Set Your Budget
Before you think about where you want to host the retreat, how long it will be, and what will be included, I want you to think about the facts. How much do you have available to spend on your retreat? That will determine what you can actually do, where you can go, and what everything will look like. A retreat can range from $3,000 to $5,000 all the way up to $30,000. Really the sky is the limit when it comes to hosting a retreat, so think about what’s feasible for you and what your budget is. Combined with your ideas about what your desired outcome is for the retreat, this will allow you to think about locations. With that in mind, you can begin obtaining quotes from hotels, thinking about activities, and deciding on the details (like whether you want to offer food or not.)
3. Create The Experience
When I design my retreats, I have certain key factors in mind that help me figure out the agenda, the flow, and what I’m including in my retreats.
For example, for our Powerhouse Coaches, we love the element of community and bonding – so we make sure we always have some sort of bonding activity included.
It’s also really important to us to allow our clients to travel while building their businesses, because I believe exploring the world opens their horizons to a lot more possibilities. New cultures, new foods, and new environments get them out of the day to day and that rut they might be in – and into an environment that really helps them step outside their comfort zone, dream bigger, and do more.
Educating our clients is also really important to us, so we always make sure we have an amazing space available, which could be a ballroom, an office, or even a conference room depending on how many people will be attending the retreat. We make sure we have a screen and a projector ready – which we either bring or rent. Then we think carefully about the agenda and the content items that we will be delivering to our clients at the retreat, which will also determine the length of our event.
4. Pick Your Top Five Locations
Now that you know the theme and purpose of your retreat, the type of experience you want to create, and you understand your budget, you can begin to look at the globe and pick your favorite locations. The world literally is your oyster. You can look at Europe, Asia, Australia, the entire US, and the UK. There really is no limit to how big you can think, so take all those factors into consideration and choose a location that will suit your clients, but that will also excite you and bring you the happiness you’re after in your lifestyle business.
5. Research Seasons And Weather
This is a very simple step for you to do, but if you forget, it could really get you in trouble. When you’re looking at where you want to host your retreat, it’s really important to choose the right time depending on where you want to go. For Europe, for example, I recommend going in the late spring and summer months – so April through August might be a really good time. For us, in our Powerhouse Coach program, we choose a tropical destination for our November retreat. We also choose a southern US based location in spring, and a nice and warm European destination in the summer.
6. Decide On Your Content And Agenda
Every retreat is custom created and tailored to our audience. So before we go, we always sit down as a team and think about what we want to bring to our clients. We look at our attendee list and ask ourselves what our clients need right now. What new strategies or new content do we need to bring them right now to serve them the most? You should do the same with your audience. Think about who will be attending your retreat and what they want to learn. What do they want to know more about and experience? Let that guide the agenda and the content you’re creating and tailoring for the retreats.
In our Powerhouse Coach retreats, we have two full days of content. We bring our clients into an amazing space and coach them on different topics relating to mindset, marketing, sales team building, and anything else they need to grow and scale a successful online coaching business. On the third day, however, we go on an excursion with them. We bring them outside and show them the land – we’ve gone on culinary tours, shopping, boating, even zip-lining! Every retreat is different, so you want to look at where you’re going and what that specific location has available for you, as well as what your clients might want to experience. You can custom create an amazing excursion where your clients can bond and have fun with you and each other, as well as learning while experiencing the location.
7. Decide On The Details
I’m a big fan of details, because I believe that it’s the little things that make for an unforgettable experience. For example, what kind of food do you want to serve your audience? Is it a plated lunch? Is it a buffet? What should be on that buffet? And again, what is your budget? You want to think about water, coffee, and tea in the room. Do you want to serve it during lunch or all day long? Also, think about attendee gifts. Can you afford to give them a gift once, or maybe they get something every day during the retreat? When it comes to retreats, realize that the experience you’re creating is a reflection of your brand. That’s why you want to make sure your clients are walking away with an incredible memory that they will then associate with you and they will want to come back time and time again.
8. Get Hotel Quotes
Now that you have an idea for your desired location, your destination, and the type of experience you want to create, it’s time to get quotes from hotels. Every hotel has a unique brand and environment, so choose one that helps support your mission, your theme, and your purpose.
And now I have a bonus insider tip for you: Do not agree to a hotel room block. In the beginning of my career, I signed off on whatever the hotel would give me, but I learned quickly that a room block is not in your best interest. It allows the hotel to lock you in to guaranteeing a certain number of room nights or rooms. But if your audience changes – a client gets sick or cancels last minute – you are responsible for those rooms and you must pay for them no matter what. So it is in your best interest to approach the hotel and indicate that you would rather not have a room block. You can negotiate by maybe agreeing to pay a fee for the meeting room or to a food and beverage minimum instead, but whenever possible get rid of the room block requirement altogether.
9. Plan Your Trip
Depending on your destination, the hotel or the country may have certain requirements. For example, there may be different types of outlets and your clients may need adapters to help them connect to the power. They may also need passports or certain travel Visas, or they may need to exchange money. You want to look at the weather and suggest items for them to pack that will make their trip more enjoyable, and also tell them if there is any specific dress code. Finally, send your clients the agenda ahead of time so they know where to go to be ready for your retreat.
10. Have Fun!
This is an experience you’re creating for your clients, but that you’re also creating for yourself and your team. So don’t forget to have fun! Enjoy building this lifestyle business that allows you to travel, explore the world, and have an amazing time.
Are you dreaming about building a business that allows you to travel? If you want to experience what it’s like to travel with some of the most inspiring, amazing coaches from around the world, I’d like to invite you to join us in the Powerhouse Coach. We just returned from the Bahamas, and we’re headed to Florida in the spring and Spain in the summer! If this sounds exciting and you’re interested in learning more about the Powerhouse Coach, go to thepowerhousecoach.com, or book a call with our coaching team at carolinsoldo.com/booknow.