One of the first questions people ask when checking with us (or any site) about doing a retreat is “what will it cost?” I have noticed in recent years, with the downturn in the economy we experienced, people not only ask that question, but often ask about any way to reduce the fees. I fully understand this concern.
People today are concerned more than ever where their hard earned income goes. If someone is going to spend what it cost to attend an event or conference, they want to make sure it will be money well spent. The old question “what is in it for me?” is many people’s guide to saying yes or no.
When deciding the fee you will charge for a retreat, you need to take a number of things into account.
- Cost of food and lodging at the site.
- Other site costs
- Costs for a leader(s) to guide the time.
- Cost for materials needed for the event.
- Transportation costs (if you are providing a bus or other means of transportation).
- Marketing costs.
- Miscellaneous costs (always build a bit of this in for all the things you can not anticipate early in the process).
Both the site used and you need to work together to make sure the event is worth the hard earned money the attendees will spend to attend. The site will provide the services and space. As a site, our mission is to make this place ideal for people to come and grow in faith or other ways depending on your goals. We seek to have beautiful and peaceful grounds, activities for free time, outstanding meals, and comfortable lodging. We seek to match your event to the best meeting space possible to meet your needs. All we want you to be concerned with is the program. We will have your back on all the other services.
So, how much does it cost? Every site is different. There are very low cost options, and those that will be higher. You could choose a summer camp as your site, but be ready for bunk beds (up to 8 in a room), the need to bring your own bedding, and the use of a public bathroom (plus they may have a more kid friendly menu for their food service). For many groups, this is no problem.
Other sites offer private and semi private rooms, each with a bathroom and linens provided. This will, of course, cost a bit more. Many adults insist on these comforts. When getting a price from a center, make sure you know what it includes (or does not include). Most centers will price per person. Find out the following for starters.
- Is this a price for the entire event or the daily price?
- Are the meals included?
- Are linens included?
- Is the meeting space included?
- Are audio visual items available and what do they cost?
- What are extra charges we might have? (An example from our site would be catering beyond the meals, or canoeing, both which are not included in the rates).
Also, never book a site without a site visit. A place that looks wonderful on the website may have a totally different look and feel in person. Most sites are happy to have you come and see the place. If you are unable to do this, recruit someone to do it for you. You will be glad you did.
Cost of an event like this is important. It is a major factor in planning. But it is not the only factor, and the cheapest may not always be the best option (but it may be as well). As you consider planning a retreat, you will also need to consider other questions like:
- What am I trying to accomplish or what is my goal for this event?
- What will be the theme?
- What am I looking for in a site?
- Who will be invited?
- How will this be financed?
- Who can be the leader?
- What is the best date?
- How many days(nights) should this be?
Watch here for more articles on this subject. We, as are other conference centers, are here to help you. Most sites have a dedicated person who is assigned to work with you throughout the planning. For us it is Connie, and she can be reached at 352-787-0313 or email@example.com. Want to know what it costs? That depends on your needs. Contact Connie and she can give you a quote from LEC.
Let us know if you have any question.
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