Successful retreat hosting

This Retreat Host information is designed to share some of our lessons learned with Retreat Hosts to assist in your preparation and to support you to run a really successful retreat.  We’ve been at this for a couple of years now, and we hope that this information helps you in your retreat hosting preparations.

First things first, if you Google Hosting Your Own retreat, you will find heaps of good references and materials to assist you in designing the successfully retreat.

From our perspective, we want you to make sure that Gymea Retreat is a great fit for the kind of retreat that you are looking to run and it’s our experience that the best way to assess our suitability is to:

  1. thoroughly checkout our website
  2. ring us and have a chat on the phone & explore if we have availability for your desired timing
  3. if all that looks good then please arrange to have a visit to check out the Gymea feel, our facilities, space and us.  The visit helps you or your proxy to do a final test on chemistry and workability and to get a feel for what makes us tick and how we and Gymea retreat will enhance your retreat offering. We believe that alignment in values is really important and the visit or phone chat helps to do the final acid test on that.

Once you have chosen us or another residential retreat centre, do yourself a favour and commit to the retreat by completing the following things in a really timely fashion:

  1. line up all of the support that you need for the retreat and make sure that the required resources can make the dates that you are considering for your retreat
  2. book the dates and pay the deposit – this secures your booking and illustrates your intention to deliver a successful retreat
  3. finalise the name of your retreat
  4. sort-out your food solution – if you are going to ‘self cater’ (please don’t try to do this yourself unless someone else is actually running the retreat) then plan your menu, line up the cook and food sources.  If you are going to use a third party to cater for your retreat, then use someone you know & trust or find someone who you get to know and trust – Food on a retreat is critically important, so you want to get this element right.  You can also check out our list of Gymea Catering Co-creators.  Once you’ve decided on a food solution, agree menu and lock it in so that everyone can get organised
  5. defined your retreat programme & offering, make sure that you don’t over-stuff it with content, as a good retreat has balance, time for reflection and isn’t too busy.  Gymea is a quiet and energetically amazing space, please make the most of your unique environment. If you feel like your programme is a bit light on then we might be able to assist you in some conscious content and activities, like fire circle, walks, movement medicine dance local entertainment and healing spa stuff.
  6. price your retreat, making sure that it represents good and hopefully demonstrable value
  7. create an engaging description of your retreat that you can use to promote your retreat.  Pictures & imagery, videos, a sample daily schedule and well crafted message helps set the tone and convey your retreat experience
  8. advertise and promote your retreat, via newsletters, fliers, Facebook Website our Website to your database, friends, associates…
  9. sort out your guest communications, including welcome pack – we have one of those with some hopefully useful information: welcome pack
  10. sort out and communicate arrival procedure including airport transfers for those folks coming from interstate.  We recommend that you suggest an arrival time at Gold Coast airport that you ask guests to make it by, and then you can coordinate the local transfers to efficiently and economically gather them up and transport them to Gymea – we allow 40 mins from Gold Coast airport.
  11. define and communicate your arrival timing – experience tells us that the folks who are going to be late and may distrupt your opening proceedings are not the “interstaters”, it’s going to be the folks in Brisbane and the Gold Coast who leave their run too late and get caught up in rush hour traffic.  Do yourself and everyone else a favour and make sure that you are clear about suggested arrival time at Gymea, and give yourself enough time for registration etc..
  12. coordinate your room allocation and please start communicating numbers room configurations to us about 2 weeks out.  depending on your retreat, you maybe offering twin share options, or king singles.  We won’t charge you for “odd” shares who you can’t couple up with another sharer for reasons of gender or numbers 🙂
  13. coordinate and communicate any healing spa service requirements.  Note we need advance notice (starting a minimum of couple of weeks out) for healing spa and massages to make sure we have the staff and the rooms available for you and your guests 🙂
  14.  arrive at the retreat centre early – note all host are generally late on the day, so it’s a good idea to be very organised, pre-pack the car and materials and even consider getting in a day early for the interstaters.  If we have availability it will allow you to get all those last minute things completed ahead of times, so you are calm (as you can be) before the retreat starts.
  15. on the matter of greeting your guests, we will provide 2 hours meet and greet service for your guests at an agreed time as part of our service.  We may require some assistance from one of your helpers during that time, and if you require more than a couple of hours assistance then we need to know that before hand and you will be charged for that service.

This is a work in progress… Watch this space…

Please make a comment about any other info you might like to see?