fitness retreat

Do You Want To Organise A Fitness Retreat?

A new trend in the fitness industry is to organise a retreat abroad. Some see it as an easy way to make a lot of money and travel for free. But do not underestimate how much work goes into executing a successful retreat, particularly in another country. Perhaps something local would be easier and less stressful to arrange. How can you decide if hosting a retreat is a venture you should try?

First, consider who your target clients are for this retreat.

  • Will your current client base be keen or will you need to advertise to a wider circle?
  • How old will they be?
  • How much expendable income do they have?
  • Where do they live?
fitness retreat

This may influence whether you want to host a retreat locally or abroad.

Once you have an idea of who your ideal attendee is, consider what they will want.

  • Will they need to be close to home so they can be with their kids by bedtime?
  • Will they ask for free wifi?
  • Is sharing rooms with a communal bathroom an option?
  • Does alcohol need to be accessible?
  • Will they want to attend lectures about nutrition and mindfulness or would they rather have a 3 hour bootcamp session before lunch?
  • How long do they want to be at a retreat for?

Online surveys are great ways to survey potential attendees to get a feel for what they are after. They can help you determine what type of accommodation you need, the length of trip, the location, and pricing.

You can use Google Forms and Survey Monkey to survey potential clients.

fitness retreat

A local retreat might be your easiest option

​With this info, you can consider location and pricing. Something local will be easier to visit, arrange, and staff.

  • It may be more appealing to clients with families or other commitments.
  • You may be able to bring your own supplies, such as equipment and food, with you rather than source from locals at a mark-up.
  • Local venues may be cheaper for both you and your clients (which might increase your net profit).

If you live near a large airport, going abroad is an option too. Find somewhere with low cost airline services and many flights a day to your destination.

fitness retreat

Good staff will make your retreat​

​Having capable staff is the number one piece of advice given by those that have hosted retreats.

Whether your venue is local or abroad, ensure that helpful staff is always available to answer questions and find supplies you need. Make sure the staff are able to think on their feet and have good customer service skills. Provide your staff with as much as information as you can so they are able to answer questions without having to find you first.

If you invite an independent instructor to the retreat, make your expectations of them clear from the start. Do they need to help with meals and laundry or only teach their one hour class on the last day?

Schedule a small break each day for everyone (yourself included) as retreats can be intense for organizers to be one step ahead of the daily schedule. This allows everyone to recharge before helping attendees again.

fitness retreat

Your retreat must make a profit

Be sure to cost out the return on investment once the retreat is over.

Keep track of time spent researching venues, costing flights, and answering query emails.

  • How much time do you put into advertising and collecting fees?
  • How many staff members did you bring with you?
  • How long was each working day?

Your first retreat might not have a huge profit. But once you have a venue and activity program sorted, you will be able to spend less time organizing.

There are a lot of other things besides net profit to consider hosting a retreat locally or abroad. Perhaps you need a trip to the sunshine or your think your clients will benefit more from one week solely dedicated to their personal health. Consider your ultimate goal, make sure it fits with what your clients expectations of a successful retreat.​

This is a guest post by Mollie Millington, a London based personal trainer and health coach

About the Author Mollie Millington

Mollie is the Happiness Personal Trainer and fitness writer. An American based in London, she takes a holistic approach to training her clients, looking for a balance of work, life, fitness, food and fun. Her writing can be found in PT Magazine and she has contributed to various websites on health and fitness.

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