Have you ever wondered about what it takes to host a retreat? Do you have the urge to plan a retreat in the future? Maybe you’ve just always been curious about what it looks like to attend a retreat.

women working and talking around a table

In this episode, I’m excited to share with you some behind-the-scenes stories and details from the upLIFT & Inspire Mastermind Retreat I hosted last week! I want to bring this to you, because some of you may be curious about what it’s like to host a retreat, or you might be wondering what it was like to actually be at the retreat as an attendee. So, I wanted to peel back the curtain and give you an inside peek into the process of planning and the happenings at the retreat itself.

The Planning of the Retreat

In 2022 I hosted 2 retreats, but I decided this year to host just 1 Spring retreat since that time seemed more doable for my community than the Fall option. With the changes in my personal life, I also didn’t know exactly where I would be in the Fall, so we chose to put the Spring dates on the calendar.

I opened the sign-ups for my retreat in January of 2023 after having both the landing page and the checkout page up and running. I also worked on creating a retreat magazine, which was a PDF, downloadable, beautiful piece of marketing that I could share with anyone who was interested based on a recommendation from my friend Amber Housley, who teaches others how to plan for and put on retreats.

group of women on stairs smiling at camera

Things I needed to Decide and Plan Before the Retreat:

  • The location for the retreat itself
  • The location of the house we stayed in
  • The structure of the retreat
  • People I wanted to bring on such as my friend, Angela, as the chef and my sister, Naomi, as the photographer. Naomi wasn’t able to attend this retreat as she has in the past, but Angela was able to come and cook delicious meals for us.

The other aspect of planning for this retreat was that I personally was feeling less prepared going into this retreat than in past retreats. For a host of personal reasons and major life changes, I had a lot being taken out of me before this retreat. I did have some general ideas of what I wanted to teach and had some things prepared, but just didn’t have a workbook and some of the other things that I’ve done in the past for this retreat.

women listening in the living room

The Event Itself

We had 11 women, including myself and Angela, my chef. Overall, I feel like the retreat went really well, and perhaps even better than what I was feeling going into it because of my preparation level.

Highlights of the Retreat

  • We had a ton of laughter and fun together, and our group of women meshed together really well and really quickly.
  • We had a great time watching dolphins swim and play together, and I think God was showing us a picture of fun and relaxation, what He can do in the world, and how our lives and our businesses are meant to be enjoyable and fun as well.
  • We had no rain and really nice weather. Though it was cold, I was grateful for no rain!
  • We had a good combination of learning, connection, and solo time.
  • The way the house was set up was really conducive and accessible for different groups to be meeting at the same time.
  • There were beautiful conversations that happened at this retreat that don’t necessarily happen online.
  • Seeing masterminding happen in real time was beautiful for me as the host.
  • We had a fun ending to the trip by getting manicures and pedicures together.
  • The group gave me some encouragement at the end of our retreat which was a huge blessing for me.

Challenges of the Retreat

  • Communication with the host of the house
  • Distance to and from the airport
  • We weren’t able to get into the house until 4 pm the day of the event, so it was a tight timeline to get things set up before the guests of the retreat arrived.

women working at a table

Is a Retreat Right for Your Business?

  • Events are not usually huge money makers, though they can be profitable sometimes.
  • Retreats can be an incredible way to create deeper connections and build community within your business.
  • Hosting a retreat is great if you want to travel more and see different parts of the country or even the world.
  • Events and retreats take a lot of planning and preparation. There was so much that went into this retreat that I didn’t mention in this episode.
  • Hosting a retreat takes various skills in order to manage the various needs and preferences of a group.
  • Events can be hard to sell because people have to fit them into their schedule and budget for them.

sunset beach picture

Quotes to Note:

“God showed up at the retreat, and I believe He was guiding me as the leader through the days, and showing me exactly what we needed to be doing at each phase of the retreat.”

“Every retreat has its own dynamic, but this one had a lot of silliness and fun and just out of control laughter, which I think was amazing for the group that we had.”

“Conversations happened at this retreat that don’t happen online… The amount of fun and laughter that happened was something that you just don’t really experience in a Zoom meeting for an hour.”

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