Once you’ve made a decision, then everything else will start falling into place. You can narrow your search for a retreat center, calculate your costs and pricing more effectively, and decide how to market your retreat. So where should you start when you know you want to lead a yoga retreat, but have no idea where?
Here are 6 steps to choosing the perfect location for your retreat:
1. Do some soul searching
Where do YOU want to go? Chances are if you’re passionate about a location, your students will feel that and be more inclined to join you. If you are excited about going somewhere, you can more effectively market your offering. Plus, if you want to go somewhere there’s every likelihood that others want to go there too!
Here are some questions to ask yourself in the soul-searching phase:
- Where do you love to return to again and again?
- What is one place you’ve been that you’ve been dying to go back to?
- Where in the world do you feel most alive, most like yourself?
- When you’re thinking of your yoga bucket list, which destination sits at the top?
- How do you want your retreat goers to feel when they step off the plane/train/bus?
2. Think of your retreat goers
Figuring out your target audience is the key to running a successful yoga retreat, and working this out will help you to choose your location. If this is your first time holding a retreat, who are the students who typically take your classes? They will most likely be where your customer base starts and who you’ll be selling the retreat to in the first instance. If you’ve been holding retreats for a while, you might already know your target audience, but remember to keep them in mind every step of the retreat planning process.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about your potential retreat goers:
- What are their responsibilities? What are the times of year they are most likely to be able to go on a retreat?
- How much disposable income do they have to purchase airfare?
- What are the locations that are likely to be on their bucket list?
- What’s the hot destination of the moment?
3. Location + Optimal Timing = Perfect Yoga Retreat
Once you have a shortlist of the locations that you are considering, it’s time to think about timing. If you already have the dates for your retreat, you need to think about what season it will be in your desired location.
Here are some things to consider:
- Off-season usually costs less, but the weather may not be perfect. Snow, rain, cold, or excessive heat may be a factor. When is the off-season for your potential locations?
- High season is when the weather is best in a location, but prices and crowds are jacked up accordingly. When is high-season for your potential locations?
- Shoulder season is usually the perfect middle ground for timing your retreat. However, depending on your client base, they may not be able to get away from work or school. When is shoulder season in your potential locations?
If you haven’t set the dates for your retreat yet, you have some flexibility in determining whether to hold your retreat during high, low, or shoulder seasons in your chosen location. The perfect combination of location and timing will depend on you and your potential retreat goers.
See Also: Top Yoga Retreat Destinations For 2017
4. Select The Location for your Retreat with a Marketing Strategy in Mind
The number one goal when you’re planning a yoga retreat is to get people to sign up, of course! The location for your retreat will go a long way in determining how you will market your retreat. If you are just starting out, or you don’t have a large following, the location for your retreat will matter immensely.
Popular locations require less marketing effort on your part. Potential retreat goers are already searching for yoga retreats to go on in Costa Rica and Bali. Name recognition will make it easier for you to encourage people to sign up for your retreat.
By contrast, less popular locations require a bit more effort to get new retreat goers onboard. Potential customers may require more assurance before they are willing to book your retreat. This can still be a good option if you have a regular customer base who enjoy getting off the beaten track.
Some tips to select the location for your retreat with ease of marketing in mind:
- Check out lists of the top destinations for a yoga retreat. These are the locations that most potential retreat goers have in mind when searching out a retreat to go on.
- Popular retreat locations can be more expensive overall. Why not focus on “up and coming” retreat locations? These could be close to the more popular places, but a bit less developed. For instance, instead of a yoga retreat in Costa Rica, you could choose Nicaragua? It offers the same activities as Costa Rica for a cheaper price.
- Which retreat locations can provide the greatest ease of travel? If your retreat goers can easily get to the location for minimal cost, that will be a great selling feature for your retreat.
See Also: How To Organize a Yoga Retreat
5. Search For a Retreat Center
Once you’ve decided on a location or at least narrowed it down, you can start searching for retreat centers in the area.
It’s very important to keep in mind the type of accommodation and yoga space you want. If you’re looking for a dedicated yoga space then it may be best to consider more popular destinations that will have yoga specific retreat centers.
If you’re willing to step out of the box and use a garden, field or terrace for your yoga classes you might want to consider multi-purpose retreat centers, hotels or a privately rented villa.
This is usually where retreat leaders get a little unstuck, but there are plenty of options!
- Reach out to other instructors and retreat leaders to see if they know of any great retreat centers in your chosen location
- Check out where other retreat leaders have been in your destination by searching through WeTravel Yoga Retreats
- Turn to Google! Examples of some good search terms to use are: Yoga retreat center in DESTINATION, Yoga retreat accommodation in DESTINATION, Villa in DESTINATION, Yoga resort in DESTINATION
6. Do Your Research on the Center
It’s of the utmost importance that you are aware of all the ins and outs of the retreat location you select before bringing all of your retreat goers there. The ideal way to make sure you do this is to visit your retreat location in-person.
When you visit potential retreat centers, keep in mind the weather for the time of year you will be holding your retreat. If it will be in rainy season, is there a covered roof over your yoga studio? If it will be hot and humid, is there air conditioning in the accommodations?
Other things to consider when you are trying out potential retreat centers:
- Are meals included in the price per person? If so, check out the retreat center’s food options for yourself. Ask questions of the kitchen, especially if your retreat will feature special dietary needs.
- Are there different accommodation options at the site? Perhaps your retreat goers will be able to choose from shared rooms or private.
- Will any other groups be sharing your retreat center while you are there? Make sure the atmosphere will be conducive to the type of retreat you desire to lead.
It’s not entirely realistic for you to be able to visit every retreat location before hosting your retreat there, however. If you can’t visit the location for your retreat in-person, make sure you are extra diligent about obtaining information.
- Consider going with a retreat center that caters specifically to yoga retreats.
- Connect with teachers who have recently hosted a retreat at the venue you desire.
- Ask the retreat center to provide references. Ask these references the kinds of details you’d like to know prior to booking your retreat.
- WeTravel has an online community of yoga teachers and retreat leaders on Facebook. Join the group and ask any questions you may have!
Are you feeling clearer on how to select the location for your retreat? By following these steps you will choose a retreat location that both speaks to your heart and will entice potential retreat goers.
If you’re planning a retreat then make sure you check out the WeTravel Retreat Leader Resources to help make your retreat the most successful it can be!