This Question Can Save You Hundreds of Dollars on Retreat Travel
I am about to be really honest with you. Negotiating contracts used to terrify me. Internally, I was shaking in my boots any time I had meetings regarding my million dollar contracts. Externally, I portrayed a bulldog. Okay, I attempted to portray a bulldog but in reality was probably more like a poodle. Cute and classy, but not the least bit scary.
The truth is reviewing venues and negotiating contracts with them are a necessary part of the planning process. Your venue sets the stage for your retreat. What is included or excluded can have a profound effect on your retreat, especially the pricing. Consider yourself a detective and have fun uncovering all the options available to you.
Start your planning process with 2-3 venues in mind to compare the going rate in the market of your destination. Then, reach out to the venue to get pricing information and availability. The responses you receive will most likely help you narrow down your choices to one or two venues.
Before making any final decisions on your venue, be sure to ask all the important questions, including:
- How many people can your venue accommodate?
- How much is the deposit?
- When can I cancel and still receive a full refund (not that you intend to do this)?
- What is included in the price?
- What type of meals are served? Can I have input on the menu for the week?
- What space(s) does the venue have available for yoga?
And, don’t forget the single question that can save your hundreds of dollars on your travel expenses: Do I get to stay for free if I bring a certain number of guests?
This is HUGE! Some retreat centers offer the teacher (possibly even an assistant) free accommodations if they guarantee so many guests. You don’t know the answer unless you ask. And, this can save your hundreds of dollars in travel expenses.
If you don't ask this question, you either pay for your travel out of pocket or pass the expense of your travel onto your guests which then increases the price of your retreat or eats into your profit margin. Neither are good solutions when you can simply negotiate a free stay with the retreat center.
Evaluate your venues based on their prices, available dates, inclusions and how flexible they seem based on their response to you. You’ll want to make sure you have a clear understanding of what is/is not included and any additional fees you may incur so that you can price your retreat accordingly. (Note: Sign up for the AIB newsletter to get my Pricing Properly formula!)
Working with retreat venues can often feel overwhelming. It’s a lot of information and numbers to process. If you begin feeling overwhelmed, stop. Take a deep breath, and possibly a child’s pose! Then, shoot me a quick hello. Know this - I’m always here to help. Remember, retreats are my heart’s work!