QUESTIONS TO ASK A POTENTIAL RETREAT VENUE
So, you’ve gauged your ideal audience’s interest, decided on a killer retreat theme, and selected the perfect destination. Now, it’s time to choose the venue that will compliment your retreat theme and meet your needs to ensure an unbelievable retreat experience.
Personally reaching out to your prospective venues is the best way to determine which will be the best fit for you and your guests. But, what questions are important to ask during the decision making process?
In this post, we’ve compiled the questions that will help you make the most educated decision when choosing your venue. Here are a few questions you’ll want to ask each venue before settling on an official retreat location:
Before you get started, download our Venue Tracking Spreadsheet to keep everything organized in one place!
1. What does the accommodation set-up look like?
How many people can they accommodate and how is the sleeping accommodation set-up? Will each guest have a private room? Shared rooms? Single beds, bunk beds or double/queen beds? Do they offer private baths or community restrooms? What additional amenities will each room include such as AC, mosquito nets, fridge, TV, etc.? You'll have to determine which of these elements is important to you.
2. How does transportation to and from the venue typically work?
How far is the nearest airport? What’s the best way to get to and from the airport to the venue? Will getting to the specific region require a domestic flight, train or transport in addition to an international flight? Is any transport provided by the venue? If not, are they able to recommend a reliable service? How much is it or is it included in the price?
3. What types of meals will be available at the venue?
Can they cater to specific diets and allergies? i.e. peanut allergies, dairy intolerances, vegan diets, vegetarian diets? What meals and snacks are typically included in accommodation packages? Do they provided filtered water and is it free?
4. What kind of housekeeping and linen services are available?
Are all linens provided? How often are rooms cleaned and towels changed out? What about soaps and basic toiletries, if any? What do they provide vs. what do guests need to bring?
5. Are private group spaces be available?
Indoor and outdoor? How many people can each space accommodate? If you're hosting a yoga or fitness retreat, are there dedicated spaces for what you need? If you have some other kind of specialty offering do they have space for you? Will you have to improvise? What about dining, workshops, and meeting spaces? How do settings vary?
6. Do they offer any excursions?
Can excursions be added as part of your package or are any included? What’s the cost? What types of excursions, local tours, events, or adventures? Do any compliment your retreat theme well?
7. What are the financial policies?
How much is the deposit to secure the space? What are the refund and cancellations guidelines? Are they flexible as your group size changes? What’s the timeline regarding payments? Price per person? Opportunity for deals or group discount rates? What about retreat leader discounts? How do they accept payments? Paypal, bank transfer, etc?
8. What have their past retreat-hosting experiences looked like?
Have they hosted group retreats before? Do they have any testimonials? Will any other groups be utilizing the venue at the same time? Will this cause any scheduling conflicts?
9. Is there anything else I should know before making a final decision?
If you can think of any other questions that pertain specifically to your retreat, this is the time to ask! Once you’ve asked all your questions, double check if the venue can offer any further useful information. And remember, you can always call back or reach back out if anything else comes to mind.
Don't forget that the venue is offering you a service as a customer. Pay attention to how well they address your questions, respond to emails in a timely manner, provide personalized information (instead of form emails), and generally make you feel confident about booking with them.
If they aren't responsive, seem extremely disorganized, and lack quality customer service you should assume that it will be the same experience on the ground. That's why talking to references and others who have hosted an event in that space is extremely important. In your Venue Tracker (download below), give them a rating 1-10 (10 being awesome) on their general customer service.
Now that you have a guideline for getting to know potential venues better, download our FREE retreat venue tracker spreadsheet and get to work! Good luck, rock stars!
RETREAT VENUE TRACKER
Use this spreadsheet to stay organized when deciding which venue is best for your retreat!