It is astounding how many directions we are all pulled in these days! Work, school, family, friends, faith, exercise, etc…. The list is potentially endless.

So when it comes time to try to fill all the spots for the retreat you are planning, how do you compete? Here are key rules that apply to events and life as well.  

Rule #1: People like to be a part of things, not just as bystanders.

  1. Identify the key participants that will naturally encourage others to join them.
  2. Offer leadership opportunities at the event for those folks before the retreat so they will be excited to attend.
  3. Have other places in the program during the weekend for other people to take responsibility and offer that in advance.

. Rule #2: People like to know they have been heard     

  1. Create a place/online space/time for people to share their ideas with you and others.
  2. Generate an ongoing conversation that is interesting and evolving that they know will continue at the retreat.
  3. Challenge back some of their thoughts so they know they are being taken seriously.

Rule #3: No one wants to walk into anything that is intense until they choose to do so.  

  1. The moments you know, as the planner, will be emotional or highly serious should not be promoted early on – it will scare people away.
  2. Also be explicit and completely transparent about your goal whether it be about spirituality or self-awareness.
  3. Use their language today, not the language they may use after the program – no inside terms or jokes before the event.  

Keep these rules in mind as you plan and promote and see the difference!

This post was featured in the April Retreat Central e-newsletter

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By Jaynie Schutlz, Co-Founder, Retreat Central
Jaynie Schultz created Garrett Creek Ranch with her mother more than 20 years ago. She served as the founding Director of Sales and Marketing and is involved in many non-profit organizations and leadership development programs.

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