Ladies retreats are important events organized for adult women by the Church with the purpose to refresh, renew and restore. These are generally a weekend events aimed at providing a refreshing and relaxing experience with lots of fun, great food and opportunity to connect with others and God. It’s an important event on the Church calendar and requires planning to make it successful and well attended.
Choosing The Right Location
Retreats are generally planned at large or small off-campus locations depending on the expected number of participants. Finding the right retreat location is a key factor influencing the cost as well as the ease of attending the event by participants. The event can be planned in unique locations, such as ranch with horseback rides and sleeping out in the open under stars or in a resort location close to a lake with facilities for swimming and boating. Where the retreat is planned is the probably the most important factor deciding the kind of attendance your event will receive.
Choosing The Right Speaker
Selecting the speakers for the event is also an important decision. While it may be most cost-effective to invite local speakers, flying in someone who is well recognized from another location can be expensive but it may create an exciting atmosphere around the event and greatly improve attendance. It’s important to keep in mind that inviting such nationally recognized faces may require in-depth planning, because they are often booked for more than a year or two in advance for different events planned at different locations.
Check Your Calendars First
While it may be important to hold the event at around same time every year in order to maintain continuity and not miss permanent and regular participants, it may help a great deal if the dates on which the event is held are kept a little flexible. One may check different calendars, such as holiday calendar, sports calendar, spring break calendar, community calendar, school calendar as well as the master church calendar, and accordingly make some changes, if required to the retreat schedule so as to avoid any clash with other important interests people may have on certain dates.
Offer A Signup Incentive
There are many people who are interested to be part of the retreat but keep delaying their decision till the last minute for no apparent reason and many a times they have to cancel their program because of reasons such as non-availability of flight tickets, etc. Such drop-outs can be minimized by providing early sign up incentives. One can have a tiered registration fee offering discounts for those registering early.
Don’t Forget Social Media
It is important to let the word out about the event using different tools. Announcing the event in a big way using social media tools is not difficult. A Facebook page may be created for the event inviting all the friends of the church. These people may in turn be requested to invite their friends and share the Facebook page with others. A short video about the event can also be put on YouTube. One can also take advantage of other social media tools such as Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. One may even consider using traditional marketing strategies such as placing flyers in local grocery stores, business establishments, colleges, or even in the local newspapers if the budget permits.