Failure is the biggest fear of any retreat planner. And while few people expect their retreat to fail, it happens more often than you might think. Whether you’re in the beginning stages or just recovering from a failed retreat, it’s not too late to learn how you can improve. There are many reasons why your retreat may fail, but here are the top 7:
1. Your planning team is too stressed to be effective.
Stress in the planning process can come from anywhere. Maybe everything you try to plan ends up conflicting. Maybe your team members can’t agree on anything. Maybe you don’t even have enough team members. Whatever the case, if your team can’t stay calm and collected during conflict, your retreat will fail.
2. Your registration process is too confusing.
Everything on your guests’ end – from sign-up to sign-out – should be easy and clearly outlined. If registration is too difficult or confusing to navigate, people will be discouraged from coming, returning, and recommending the retreat to anyone else.
3. Your promotion strategy is lacking.
It’s simple – if you don’t put in the effort to advertise, no one is going to know about your event. Hand out flyers, post on social media, and encourage your guests to tell their friends about your retreat. Make sure your entire community knows that your retreat is happening, and that it’s going to be a blast.
4. Your guests get bored with the same old schedule.
During the retreat, you should always pay attention to what your guests are saying. You may think everything is going smoothly, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your guests are enjoying themselves. You never want your guests to leave feeling unsatisfied and bored.
5. Your theme and supporting games are weak.
The theme is one of the most important parts of the retreat. It creates a focal point for your guests to come back to throughout the course of the event. If all your activities and messages are disjointed, your guests will feel the negative effects.
6. You don’t follow-up with your guests to keep the buzz going.
It’s crucial not to simply forget about your retreat once it has happened. Keep the conversation going about everything you’ve learned and experienced. Share pictures and testimonies to encourage others to attend your next retreat. And show your attendees that you’re still interested in their wellbeing, not just your retreat’s agenda.
7. You make God an afterthought instead of your first priority.
The number one mistake you can make when planning a retreat is this: forgetting the reason for it all. Retreats are meant to draw people closer to God and help them grow in their faith while building relationships with like-minded people. It doesn’t matter how much money or thought you put into your retreat; without God at the center, your retreat is destined for failure before it even begins.
Hopefully these 7 guidelines will prove useful, either now or in the future. If you avoid these common mistakes, you will be able to plan a successful and enjoyable event for everyone involved.
Did you know that Christian Camp Pro launched a book that makes retreat planning quick and easy? Click here to pick up your copy today while it’s on sale.
Special thanks to WOL Camps for sponsoring this article.