Trying to increase your off-season retreat business can be hard and then downright impossible if you constantly have retreats coming and going with no retention year over year. Retreat participants will most assuredly give honest feedback to their organizers and this is what determines that retreat’s next facility 99% of the time. Retention of your existing retreat base is the first step in growing your off-season revenue and the most important factor in keeping those events returning is customer service through professional hospitality.

Hospitality is defined as such:

noun: hospitality

  1. the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.
synonyms: friendliness, hospitableness, warm reception, welcome, helpfulness, neighborliness, warmth, kindness, congeniality, geniality, cordiality, courtesy,

Think about those words above and ask yourself and your team if they would consider themselves good examples of those terms when it comes to their interactions with the retreat center guests and customers.  How can they embody these ideals?

Retreat Amenities Not Always Required for Retention

What most youth camp and retreat center directors might not know is that a facility does not always need to have all the bells and whistles that huge resorts have to strengthen constant retention. A friendly staff that is 100% willing to say yes to all reasonable requests is a major key to fueling an organizer’s decision to return each year. Getting retreats to try your center for the first year is great but if they immediately start looking for other options after departure day, you most likely did not create a big enough impact on them hospitality-wise.

Prepared and Available Staff is Everything

One of the first things to consider as a Retreat Director of a facility is: Do I have the right staff in place to provide professional hospitality?

When a retreat group first arrives at a facility, they will be excited to be starting their event and the most impactful thing a staff can do is have an immediate presence with the organizers to find out how they can help with setups, schedules, lodging needs, fun requests, and any other issues that may be needed to start the event off successfully. Is there a sure-fire way for that organizer to get a hold of those staff members? Will those staff members always respond immediately after being contacted and are they genuinely excited to help?

Good hospitality is the first step in growing your retreat base and will leave organizers with a sense of outstanding customer service that won’t be forgotten at their next planning meeting. Your off-season retreats growth starts there!


More Retreat Hospitability Tips: When it’s Time to Determine Your Rates for Retreats

Interested in becoming a Retreat Center Partner Camp?

Call or email Retreat Central at 512.694.8418 or

Leave a Reply