This week on the blog I am so darn excited to walk you through how we plan our quarterly retreats. We are deep in the planning season right now as our next retreat is about six weeks away.
First, the reason I am so obsessed with retreats is that it is where I personally get the BEST results.
And by best I mean the ideas, the energy, the plan. As a business strategist for female entrepreneurs, I have experienced major life changes from both my clients and myself at retreats. When I am talking about retreats in this case, I am referring to two-plus day events, but sometimes a good CEO Day (one day) can work wonders.
I have been to multiple retreats in my entrepreneurial career but the two that have helped me the most were when 1) I brought my husband (this was a partner mastermind I was in and he actually came with me to the business retreat) and 2) I did a VIP weekend with a coach for two days and we did a huge deep dive into my business. Both times were transformative.
Why in-person retreats work
- Stronger Connections: Face-to-face interactions allow team members to build stronger personal connections, fostering trust and empathy among team members.
- Enhanced Collaboration: Physical proximity encourages spontaneous interactions, brainstorming, and collaborative problem-solving.
- Reduced Distractions: In-person retreats provide an opportunity to escape the usual office environment and minimize distractions, leading to increased focus and productivity.
- Non-Verbal Communication: In-person meetings enable participants to read body language, facial expressions, and other non-verbal cues, leading to better understanding and communication.
- Building Team Culture: In-person retreats can reinforce the organization's culture and values, creating a shared sense of purpose and belonging.
- Greater Engagement: Participants tend to be more engaged and participative during in-person events compared to virtual ones.
- Creativity and Innovation: The change of scenery and new environments can spark creativity and encourage innovative thinking.
- Wellness and Relaxation: In-person retreats can include elements of relaxation and wellness, allowing team members to de-stress and recharge.
I think the ones that stand out for me the most are collaborations, creativity, and reduced distractions. I usually can get more done in a two-day retreat than I can in an entire six months. I have seen them be that powerful.
As a business owner and business strategist for female entrepreneurs
, I knew that I wanted to create this kind of environment because the growth is literally fast-tracked. I think it also is even more transformative to step outside of your everyday life and just focus on one thing.
Can you imagine if you had 24 hours with zero distractions to actually focus on your business?
The fun part is, I used to plan retreats and events like this in my corporate job so now being able to do it for my clients is like icing on the cake. I can pull in all my executive skills but also make it fun!
Inside our female entrepreneur mastermind, we actually have four retreats each year. Two are in-person and two are virtual, alternating every quarter. The goal is that we do quarterly retreats to infuse energy, momentum, and enthusiasm back into your business. And because I love a good plan, we branded each of our retreats geared toward the season it takes place in.
Our Retreats For Female Entrepreneurs
Q1: Recharge Retreat - Think tropical or desert setting helping you recharge after the holidays and set yourself up for the year ahead.
Q2: Camp Creative - We bring in creative specialists (think copywriting, storybrand experts, sales pages specialists, canva, and more) to uplevel all your business creative
Q3: Fall Fest - The name speaks for itself, but we are celebrating the end of summer and planning for Q3 and Q4 launches. The goal is that you have the rest of your year done and planned. With a side of good ole midwest fun. (We actually host this one at our house)
Q4: Strategy and Soul - In Q4 we are focused on bridging the gap between the strategy piece which I love and the soul/mindset component to end the year strong.
You can see they all have different focuses but when you combine them all together and then layer in some good ole motivation and networking it is REALLY powerful.
How to Plan a Retreat
So what goes into planning these? If you are thinking about planning a retreat, here are a few things that have helped me the most.
- Pick a theme first. What is the outcome you actually want your guests to achieve? Along with the theme, who is your target audience and what do they want? For example, it could be fostering networking opportunities, providing educational workshops, promoting collaboration, or offering a space for relaxation and self-care.
- Pick a location. The first retreat I ever hosted was in our hometown to give me flexibility and help with costs. But in my experience picking a location that has easy transportation options is key. Example - how long does it take to get to the airport? Or how are your guests going to get around? Choose a venue that aligns with the retreat's objectives and provides a comfortable, inspiring, and inclusive environment. Consider factors such as location, accessibility, accommodation options, meeting spaces, and amenities.
- Address Logistics and Accommodations: Take care of logistical details, such as transportation, meals, and accommodation options for attendees. Make sure all necessary arrangements are made well in advance.
- Set a budget. This is probably tied with #1 but setting a budget for a retreat is REALLY important. And costs can increase fast. So think about what you want to include and not include and what the guest is responsible for and what you are. Make that very clear.
- Develop an Engaging Agenda: Create a diverse and engaging agenda that includes a mix of workshops, panel discussions, keynote speeches, interactive sessions, networking opportunities, and wellness activities. Ensure that the topics and activities are relevant to the attendees' interests and needs.
- Invite Expert Speakers and Facilitators: Bring in experienced and knowledgeable speakers, mentors, and facilitators who can provide valuable insights and guidance to the attendees. Look for experts in entrepreneurship, leadership, personal development, and industry-specific topics.
One of my favorite things especially when I host events in our hometown is to bring friends in. We typically have two or three in person guest speakers per retreat and the networking and collaboration just increase tremendously.
- Plan Team-Building and Networking Activities: Incorporate team-building activities and structured networking sessions to encourage attendees to connect, collaborate, and build meaningful relationships. This is probably my favorite part of the retreat. We have done everything from yoga classes to chakra dancing to tarot card readings and more. But most of the time, the best lessons learned are from natural conversations.
Make sure to plan space in your schedule for downtime and networking.
- Provide Opportunities for Relaxation and Self-Care: Include opportunities for relaxation and self-care, such as yoga or mindfulness sessions, spa treatments, or nature walks. Entrepreneurs often need time to recharge and rejuvenate. You don't want your guests to go home exhausted!!!
Making the Retreat Magic Last When Everyone Goes Home
And my favorite part and something we REALLY take pride in, is having a plan for when everyone leaves on how to implement what you learned. What is the action plan once you are back home and out of this environment? Establish a plan for post-retreat follow-up, such as providing resources and materials, facilitating ongoing networking, or offering continued support to the attendees.
How's that for a retreat plan? Gosh, they are just so amazing. I have had clients literally 10X their business in just 48 hours from one little workshop. In-person is just so powerful. If you are interested in attending our next one, take a peek at all of them at www.hollymariehaynes.com/mastermind
This fall, we are opening our house and creating the most magical fall environment.
- Dial into your vision to go above what you have already created and step into the next level.
- Walk away with the rest of the year planned, content done, and created.
- Build your dream team (and create the capacity to do more of what you love).
- Be fueled with motivation (and connections)