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Updated: Aug 30, 2018

One of the biggest challenges I hear from my clients is "Kat, how do I make my retreat profitable?" Great question! In my opinion all retreats can and should be profitable or you might as well stay home and host a virtual mastermind. There are several strategies that go into making your retreats profitable. Today I want to share the first strategy which is to CREATE a RETREAT BUDGET…and make sure to include these seven items:

1. Lodging: When I work with my clients this is the first item that we factor into the retreat budget. Lodging costs are going to be your biggest retreat expense. Your resort or retreat center will provide a quote for either a per room/night cost or a per person/night cost. Remember to budget for additional charges like hotel occupancy tax, sales tax, resort fees, etc.

2. Ground Transportation: There are lots of great options to provide ground transportation for your retreat attendees and it is a nice touch that creates an all-inclusive experience. In addition to booking a shuttle bus or sedan service, rideshare services like Uber or Lyft allow you to offer event codes in most major cities (great for an urban retreat). If you are providing ground transportation make sure to budget for group excursions in addition to airport transfers.

3. Food & Beverage: Resorts require a food and beverage minimum for group bookings. Make sure you know this amount and that you request the banquet menus so you have an idea of the average cost for meals. Even if you choose an all-inclusive plan make sure you know the daily rate per person is for meals and if that is in addition to the lodging costs. In addition, make sure to include sales tax and service charges in your budget.

4. Excursions: Excursions can vary from affordable to extravagant with options such as guided hikes, to cooking classes or surf lessons. Excursions are a great way to enhance a retreat experience. Think about what excursions you want to host during your retreat so you can include a per person cost in the retreat budget.

Tip: Remember to budget in 10-15% of the total cost for tips and gratuity

5. Gifts & Giveaways: Think about the special touches you want to create during your retreat. Do you want to send your retreat attendees a beautiful tote bag before the retreat? Or have a special gift waiting for them in their room upon arrival? In addition to the price of the gift, please budget for shipping or a nominal hotel charge for a room drop fee.

6. Professional Service Fees: Who do you need to hire to help you produce a successful retreat? Do you need to pay your team to plan and attend the retreat? Do you need to hire a retreat planner or retreat marketing strategist? Either way negotiate a flat fee vs. an hourly rate for any professional services. That way you know exactly what the cost of this line item is and there are no surprises.

7. Marketing: Having a retreat marketing plan is a MUST. Unless you have a community that is standing by ready to buy a retreat ticket or your retreat is part of a coaching bundle then you will have to market your retreat. The good news is that you can successfully market without having to invest your life savings. However, you will need to invest marketing dollars to spread the word about your retreat. I help my clients develop custom retreat marketing plans but yours might include a social media campaign, email marketing, printing costs and design work for an event landing page.

Do you have a question you’d like to ask? Need assistance getting retreat ready? Just want to say hello? I would love to hear from you! Please click below to schedule a Chat with Kat.


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