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Make sure your group retreat is a hit: Part One

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The first of three key elements in running a successful group retreat
the yurtGroup retreats are a fabulous way for your clients to spend some uninterrupted high-quality time with you and other like-minded souls.  If you love your work, you either already run group retreats, or you may be planning your first group getaway.  Retreats are both a gratifying experience AND, if organised correctly, they can be a great income generator too.
If this sounds like your cup of tea, read on!  In this mini series of three blogs we are going to share some top tips for making sure your retreat is the enjoyable, transformational, memorable event you hoped it would be.
So first up is getting your location right.  The first aspect of location is the venue itself.  And its not just about hosting your retreat somewhere exciting.  In fact, a key part of the magic formula for making your retreat a success is the opposite of that.  To truly help people transform, you need to create a safe space.
 peaceful rooms
Dan Wilf, co-founder of Yogascapes, a company that helps trip leaders to create a better retreat, emphasizes the importance of creating a safe space for people to enter and be themselves:
“Retreat participants won’t be able to come out of their shell and really relax unless they feel safe in the space.”
So making sure you are at a venue where the team will make an extra effort to help everyone feel comfortable is vital.
Alongside you as the retreat leader, the people who run the hotel or retreat centre you host your event at will shape the experience of your participants.  Your customers should feel like they are being welcomed home.  Many people travel a long way to attend a special retreat and so feeling truly welcomed has terrific value.
 sunny deck overlooking the Somerset levels
The other elements of creating a safe space include:
a) Having clear communication.  Make sure everyone is prepared and feels taken care of, listened to, and safe;
b) Having a shared space for a sense of community to grow.  Christine Kane, creator of the the highly successful Uplevel Your Business Live Retreat, says: “I recommend that you choose a space that offers lodging and meals.  Something special happens to a group of people when they dine and sleep on site.”
c) Being in peaceful and calm surroundings.  Beautiful views and a quiet atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of normal life are also key elements increasing a safe energetic container for your retreat.
The ideal venue provides a safe, held space, but is also close enough so that you can spend some time visiting and enjoying the local culture and any especially interesting sites.  Our next blog focuses on this second element of choosing the right location: Exploring outside your retreat centre.
Testimonials from retreat leaders who chose Healing Waters as the venue for their Group retreats:
I led a retreat at Juliet’s wonderful Healing Waters. What a delight! Everyone loved it. The energy, the rooms, view of the Tor, gardens, sacred spring, organic food – all heaven sent and delightful! We had all our meals catered and felt we ate like royalty.  It is ideal for enjoying as a B&B, romantic getaway, individual vacation, or in our case, spiritual or healing retreat whole-house rental. What a gem!  ….Sage Kingsley Goddard – California
Healing Waters offers a wonderful place for self-catering groups or for individual time out. The views are fantastic, the house itself is calm, spacious and very accommodating. It is the perfect place for meditation and personal healing. I return every year with my group and they are always impressed. Having the yurt in the garden is also a great addition as it offers additional accommodation and a healing/meditation room. Glastonbury town centre is only 10 minutes walk away so what could be better?! enjoy!    Anna Louise Haigh

Author: Estelle Gillingham, PhD
Forensic Healer and Creator of The Karmic Breakthrough
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