Choosing a location for your retreat can be a time consuming process, especially if you are a first-time planner. However, with just a little advance planning, you can significantly reduce the time spent speaking with prospective hotels and Christian retreat facilities by having the answers ready for most of the questions they will be asking you. Not only will this save you valuable time, but it should also help smooth out the selection process.
To help you save valuable time, here are 10 questions you have the answers to PRIOR to calling a facility about hosting your event:
- What is the purpose of your retreat? – Answering this question sets the stage for all the others as the purpose goes a long way in determining the type of facility, recreation, meals, etc.
- What kind of accommodations are you looking for? – Options range from hotel type, dorm rooms with bath on hall, private lodges to rustic cabins with no heat or plumbing.
- Does your group expect to have private baths in each room, or would they be OK with hall baths or bathhouses?
- Do you want to cook your own meals, or have the meals provided by the facility?
- What quality of food does your group expect?
- How large do you realistically expect your group to be? – Critical to get this one right. Go too large and you risk paying for space/rooms you don’t need. Underestimate and you may be faced with a facility that’s too small for your event.
- How many meeting rooms do you need? (ie..general session, breakouts, etc)
- When do you plan to arrive and depart?
- Do you mind sharing the facility with other groups?
- How much money do you want to spend? Even more importantly, what is your group as a whole willing to spend? It’s critical to make sure price expectation match up with facility expectations. Otherwise your group may be happy with the price, but not with the quality of what it buys them.
Those of you with a little more time in the planning saddle, any questions we’ve missed? If so, please chime in with your comment and suggestion.