Ministry Wives

Plan a Successful Ladies Retreat In (8) Steps: Part 2 of 8

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First step completed with answering 6 questions and helping us establish step 2.

2) Pick a Date & Location

Next, pick a date and location. Times can be adjusted after or as you go. But this is super handy for any size retreat you are planning for save-the-date cards or emails. It will also give you a time line to break everything up in the planning phase. You may be able to check out a new place and take a tour, or know your limits. (Min. and Max capacities) Also, they will be able to answer you on insurance questions. When you have your location, reserve it! This is so helpful for everything else that quickly follows.

Plan a Successful Ladies Retreat In (8) Steps: Part 2 of 8

Pick a Date & Location

Having your notebook or journal handy, now reference your goals and vision for the conference into a setting. Are you thinking more nature oriented for personal reflection, enjoyment and/or relaxation? If this is your train of thought, then are you wanting more adventurous and rustic or retreat center type? Or is the location just a bonus and not really a key element of your retreat? Remember, there is not a right or wrong answer, just a better selection for the type of retreat the Lord has placed on your heart. Again, established in your purpose and/or goals.

After establishing your vision for the retreat, we talked a little about numbers. Are you going with a core group for your retreat? A few invites? Or a wide reach of bringing people in from afar? These are key elements you will want to factor into your location selection. Here are a few more thoughts to help zoom in on a location.

What season will the retreat be hosted?

Accommodations and cost choices. What things are necessary in order to host your ladies retreat? What is priority and what is preference?

Size and options. (Are you allowing day visitors and having an open retreat, or are you aiming for a core group staying with little distractions while having a retreat.)

Do we need overnight housing?

Do we need overnight housing for others? (Not just your core ladies group.)

How will the retreat proceed? Will I need a conference room or large guest area to meet?

Is there a dining hall? How will meals be arranged? Where? Who?

Are things handicapped accessible?

Will I need a shuttle or local transportation services?

Venue options, decorations and needs will all factor in when you choose dates.

body of water across forest

Pick a Date & Location

After you have planned your goals and purpose, then juggled the many questions to follow; choose a general location and dates that will work. I would then, recommend making phone calls prior to visiting and touring your location choices. Here you can rule out locations that are already booked, and narrow your results with simple questions. Also, allowing you to narrow down options if you were really flexible on specific location criteria earlier.

From here, gather data that meets your guidelines. (Capacity, Budget, etc.) Next, tour your tops picks if you need more information or it is available to do so. Then pick your location and date. Locking in your date and time allows you to start creating your save the date cards, invitations, announcements, flyers and/or guest speakers if needed. If this is a book retreat, you are also able to establish a timeline if you also have groups or studies planning to meet prior to the final retreat.

Just as important as your date is your location. Now you can scope out what you will need for your location pick. What a blessing it is to be able to plan as much in advanced as possible. Depending on your size of retreat/event you can then divide the tasks among your team as well. (Reservations & Signup, Food & accommodations, Childcare-if needed, Decorating team, etc.) This is also a great time to take your support/ team members on a tour of the location as well. Seeing what you have to work with is a great way to obtain clarity, to pray on the grounds AND to encourage your team. Continue to write the things the Lord lays on your heart in your journal as you go. I love how HE works in the midst and gives ideas. HE is so good and faithful!

Happy Ministry!

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