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9 luxuriously cozy cabins, art studio, dining pavilion, cut flower barn studio, miles of hiking trails, 4 acre lake, organic veg and flower farm on 98 acres: completely private and exclusively yours.

A woodland retreat venue for intimate meetings, workshops and gatherings in beautiful Goochland County, Virginia

October 5, 2021

How to select the ultimate venue for your retreat, meeting or workshop

Let’s Get Organized!

Did you know you can host a show-stopping, memorable retreat or workshop that makes your guests feel energized and inspired?  It’s easier than you think.  Let me show you how…

You know your “why” and you’re getting ready to share it with the world.  That’s so exciting! Following specific steps will make sure your guests find what they seek, elevate you as an expert, AND protect your business from financial hardship.  That’s a win-win for everyone!

Let’s dive in.

There are many details to consider when organizing your event and choosing your venue is only one small part of it.  

You’ll also need to

  • Plan your budget
  • Organize your itinerary
  • Strategize a marketing plan
  • Consider legal liabilities 
  • Fine tune your guest relations.  

But first you need the perfect venue!

There are many factors that go into choosing the ideal venue for your retreat or workshop like…

  •   Location
  •   Maximum capacity
  •   Amenities
  •   Availability
  •   Price

What is also critical is your partnership with the venue owner and your shared stake in creating a successful gathering. Are they willing to help you create the right environment that keeps your guests wanting more?

Will they help you promote your event, assuming it’s not a closed group?

Does the venue have the required meeting spaces you need and does it also provide spaces that inspire?

Location, Location, Location

Do you want something close to home or are you looking for a far flung adventure?  

Will your guests be willing to travel?  

Is the venue close to convenient airports?  

Would you rather teach yoga at the beach or in the woods?  

Does your offering require an art studio?  

Does your corporate meeting require WiFi with AV equipment?   

All things to consider and so important to creating a rich and full experience.

Accommodations 

Next, make sure your group size is compatible with the venue and your guests feel comfortable.  You know your tribe…do they need a fluffy robe or are they ok roughing it for the budget.  

Amenities are also a critical component of selecting the perfect venue.  

  • Do they have indoor and/or outdoor spaces that suit your teaching needs?  
  • What sort of food do they offer and can they work with your guests’ needs and budget?  
  • Are there extras that your guests will really enjoy like a spa, hiking trails or even area attractions?  

Availability 

Is the venue you have your eye on available for the dates you have in mind?  Be sure to book in plenty of time to snatch up that date!  Many groups book as far out as a year.  Pay special attention to deposits due and last dates for cancellation fees.  Most retreat venues will require deposits at intervals, paid in full 60-90 days out and no refunds after 30-60 days is typical.  

Budget 

I know, I know, I said the B word.  But listen up, it’s so important to crunch the numbers and be sure that your offering will not only be spiritually rewarding but also pays your bills! It doesn’t need to be that complicated….

  • List out all of the expenses and divide by the number of guests.   
  • Figure out how many guests you need for your endeavor to be profitable and add in a cushion just in case of unexpected costs.   
  • Be detailed and careful with your list of expenses…oversights can become costly.  

Are You Ready?

After you’ve narrowed down your search it’s time to get down to brass tacks.  Read your contract very carefully and be sure you understand the cancellation policies.  You will lose your deposit and possibly full payment if you do not fill your retreat in time.  The venue has these deadlines as a layer of protection for their business as well. 

There are liability concerns as well and you should have your own contract drawn up with your guests protecting everyone involved.

Also, you should be able to count on the event venue you select to be your partner in making your retreat memorable and run smoothly.  Ask if they have any special offerings or excursions they can help set up.  Be sure they will organize your meeting space to your specifications (i.e. number of tables and chairs or easels, etc).  Menu planning is a bonus and help with marketing your event even better.  The best places will be so much more than a place to sleep and meet.

Ok I promised you a check list!

My comprehensive checklist will help you remember every detail you need to be sure your venue is the best fit for your event.

Use this checklist when researching a venue you’re interested in.  They should be able to provide your “need list” completely. For each venue, use a copy of your original list and use the left hand column to check whether or not each venue contender ticks your must haves. Have fun with it…you got this!

Retreat Venue Selection Checklist


AmenitiesNeedWant

Number of guest accommodations 



Are there both single and double rooms with two separate beds?



Are the guest rooms special?



Indoor event room and size



Outdoor meeting spaces



Food and beverage service



Ability to self cater



Board room set up



WiFi/technology features



Number of tables and chairs



Art Studio



Is work space climate controlled 



Spa



Pool/hot tub/fitness center



Easy parking and loading zones



Cancellation Policy/contract terms



Shuttle service



Check in/check out times



Outdoor amenities



Area attractions



Concierge services



Exclusive use/private retreat venue



Venue that helps promote you



Extra Amenities and special offerings



Does it inspire your theme or brand?



Can you create unique experiences in this location?


If you would like a downloadable PDF of this checklist click here!

I hope you find this checklist helpful! Cheers!

Kim Hill

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