In 17 short months, Imiloa has generated over 63 contracts, has hosted thousands of people from a hundred countries and maintains an overall survey average of 4.8 out of 5 stars across all of those retreats.
We have some insights on “secrets” that have been revealed to us by the very nature of learning about all these events and this industry at an incredibly rapid pace.
The immersive experience a retreat can offer can catalyze the individual and social transformation of communities. It forms strong bonds, reflections on life and often shakes you up in a way like few other experiential events can.
If you’re considering hosting a retreat, chances are there are more unknowns than known, especially if it’s your first.
Questions around success come up even before you’ve identified what success will be for you and your participants.
Questions around people’s interest level, marketing, sales and will Imiloa really have my back so I can fully show up for my content.
Although we understand feelings aren’t facts and our first reaction to fear isn’t our final reaction, we know all of this can feel abundantly real.
Imiloa works with you in an unprecedented way to bring clarity. We believe that clarity leads to serenity, and that serenity leads to peaceful prosperity.
We’re sharing with you the top three success secrets in filling your next retreat. It’s about financial success but also the authenticity of the relationships that are built as a result.
Clarity: Getting crystal clear on attendees and outcomes for their lives, not yours.
First and foremost, we suggest you articulate your values and vision.
A good exercise is imagining your ideal attendee — an avatar if you will — on the final day of their retreat. They’re at the gate in San Jose, about to fly home. What are they texting their loved on? What are they telling their mother about? Not multiple things. They’re talking about a single thing or two. That moment that changed everything. Maybe it was the food, or a workshop, or a new friend they met that helped them see their life in a new way.
Go there, and write about it. That is a piece of how you animate the values of your retreat. One of the biggest ways retreats sell out is due to word of mouth and when people get interested.
What do your attendees want to get out of the investment? Out of the experience? Yes, what are their needs, wants, wounds, pains, challenges, desires, hopes and dreams?
From the moment your promotion hits them, wherever they are, all the way through the Discovery Call and closing process, the key is to remember that their mind is always asking: “What’s in it for me?” Our participants always leave Imiloa knowing that they have received what they came for.
Then it’s “OK, can this person and this group really deliver it to me?” You being clear allows them the unconscious permission to also be clear in their decision making, which allows for you to fill your retreat.
What are the actions you’ll take during the retreat, and what is the Possibility that is created as a result?
We prefer to talk about Possibility rather than results because ultimately you can’t dictate what results for another human being will be. But, you can be sure that if you create Possibility and enroll them in that possibility through the action you take and the clarity you share with them, that their lives will be transformed as a result.
By attending your retreat, what is now Possible in their life? What is Possible in their business or their relationship? This ought to drive every communication, every Facebook post and ad, every email newsletter and so on.
Values are derived from the exercises above, and the Possibility you create. Vision is driven by the naming of your retreat. We’ll talk about that another time, or Imiloa can also share with you more on naming tips in a Discovery Call.
Find a Retreat Center (hint: Imiloa Institute) that wants you to work closely with them
At Imiloa, you’ll be hosting at an institute that believes not only in educating and advancing human beings that are here, but we believe that it’s not just about your guests, but also about the communities that are impacted by the work you do here.
As such, our co-founder, who is also our COO, is head of the “Welcome Home Team” at Imiloa, the team of operators, managers, event planners, property team, housekeeping and more that ensure everything, from ticketing to touchdown to takeoff, is handled expertly. Having assistance from the initial stages of planning to the execution of your retreat will be pivotal in freeing you up to market, share and execute.
Imiloa’s co-founder, India Mayorga, works in close alignment with each retreat host that enters the gate. India and Imiloa’s high-class operations team effectively become the Operation Support or ‘C.O.O’ (Chief Operating Officer) of your entire event.
Everything from the ticketing and web conversion, to marketing support (although we don’t take the lead on this), to the touchdown of the group in San Jose, to the arrivals at Imiloa, every aspect of the event and until the group is safely back at San Jose headed home, is handled. All you have to consider is your curriculum and schedule. There are Four Kick-Off Calls that happen as part of the Kick-Off Series to ensure clarity and peacefulness. The event gets “locked” 30 days before liftoff. See here to read more about how our team can support you.
Be brave and bold with your offer
Selling is nothing more than creating, and sharing value.
We sabotage often when we sell. Why? Because we’re too busy thinking about ourselves. Get outside of your body. Get outside of you. Stop trying to convince someone of something you have for them, and instead really feel into what’s important to them.
Boldness has power, magic and bravery in it. You are out on the leading edge of thought, brave enough to turn back around and invite the rest of us there, too. Imiloa stands with you and we need you to also take the stand.
Be bold and share with your family, friends, your network of former and current colleagues. Spread the word from everyone in your direct network to your barista at your local coffee shop.
Retreats are an extremely intimate experience, and if you’re curious about creating and sharing value, we invite you to get comfortable with an appropriate amount of discomfort.
Lynan Saperstein, the founder and CEO of The Experience Experts, a turn-key digital marketing agency advises following the DECIDE framework module.
As a marketing strategist and experience creator, she explains you can do this by listening to heart and soul in a way of “I can do it and I can be it.” Lynan also advises us that our mindset sets the tone and determines our success.
There is extreme power in the art and science of visualization and it starts with taking action and turning the results over to a higher power of your understanding.
With these tips, Imiloa is confident that you will fill your next retreat successfully. Schedule a discovery call to start your journey with hosting at Imiloa.
Imiloa Institute regularly gets many phone calls and online messages from individuals around the world considering attending a transformational retreat. They often ask us which one of our retreats should they attend and how to pick the right experience for them.
The Imiloa Team always appreciates these powerful conversations because Imiloa Institute in Costa Rica is emerging as not only a consciousness institute for educating human beings but as an authority on the space of transformation and healing because of how selective Imiloa is about who hosts retreats inside our gates.
Human beings find themselves in periods of transition, loss, relationship ebbs and flows, shifts in life responsibilities or learning to juggle the abundance that they’ve manifested in their life or business.
Because life in metropolitan cities, working for an impactful company, or as an entrepreneur can often be filled with stress and other toxicities, the demand for getaways, retreats and transformational experiences filled with healing and reflection is increasing every year.
This is why we built Imiloa to be in support & empowerment of the global eco-system focusing on education through a spirit of service and a posture of learning.
We are seeing solopreneurs, busy executives, tech entrepreneurs with fresh exits, artists, transformational leaders and so many others earmark budget yearly for retreats and deepenings the same way they would for mortgage or savings. Retreats are a wonderful way to take the time and space to get away from our day to day, as well as an opportunity to go inward to reflect. Our retreat guests experience a chance to refresh perspectives, refocus priorities, and revitalize their spirit for living. If you’re reading this, the question probably isn’t if you’re going to go on a retreat, but which one and how to properly pick the right one for you.
These 4 tips serve as a supportive source in guiding you on your journey to choosing and booking your next transformative retreat:
Envision how you want to feel at the end of the retreat.
Start by exploring what your desired outcome is and visualize where you see yourself on the last day of the experience. What do you want to take away from this time of inward exploration?
Who do you want to become? Thinking about these things will allow you to tune in and attract the right event.
Jake Sasseville, co-founder of Imiloa, notoriously only ever attended one retreat before creating Imiloa. “I attended one retreat, a men’s intimacy retreat. I wanted a stronger connection with myself and the world around me,” he says.
“I thought it was going to be a talk-therapy retreat. Careful what you wish for. Much of the retreat was in silence, it was based on “authentic movement” for three days. It transformed me.”
When thinking about how to choose the best event for you, Sasseville says, “…discover how you want to feel. Throw goals out the window. How do you want to feel, and let that be the driver.”
Research the values of the host or teacher
Two things to consider here in your research.
First is the master authentic. How do they present themselves? Do they resonate? The second thing to consider is look at the testimonials of what they used to talk about their expertise. Research the people they are quoting. Are they people you want to be with for five days?
Jake encourages all of us to look at , “…their beliefs and ethics and if they align with yours.”
Finally, a third part could be looking at the retreat center itself. Research the co-founders. Is it in alignment? Do they state values and vision or are they vague? Pictures tell a good story, but what’s under the hood? It matters because these three items make up how you feel about the experience and it will either allow you to do the work you came to do, or be a distraction.
Scour social media beyond the testimonials. Often you can find what people have said as it’s happening during other retreats.
Hearing their personal results and benefits from the retreat as it’s in progress can be a deciding factor in the decision-making process. Also, reach out to past attendees. Retreats at Imiloa range anywhere from $2,500 to $13,000 a ticket, depending on who’s teaching. It’s an investment and ought to include due diligence.
Are you willing to invest in yourself for a life-changing transformation?
If it’s a yes, determine a timeline, then a month(s) that you’ll do it. Don’t let the voice self-sabotage you into not acting. Focus on taking the next right action. Perhaps a savings plan. A $3500 retreat including airfare is $291 a month over 12 months.
Most retreat prices offer all-inclusive options with workshops, accommodations, food, and transportation. If they’re real good, they’ll have payment plan options to help as well. You are responsible for flights.
Imiloa has a commitment to advancing and educating human beings on our journey of mastery. As an emerging authority on retreats, programming and experience, because we walk our talk. We believe that we “win” if and when everyone “wins.” Our retreat hosts, who we fondly call ‘Masters’ and their retreat attendees feel our core values foundationally for all of their experience. We value fun, being a joyful environment for all – our team and guests, eco-aware of the world around us, and transparent in all our communications. Everyone who connected to Imiloa, feels the difference.
The range of retreat centers in Costa Rica and around the world is growing. The clearer you can be with yourself about what you want, the better choice you’ll make for your life. Let us know if we can help you in the journey, and of course we hope to see you at Imiloa Institute very soon. Check out our Upcoming Retreat Calendar to explore the different types of retreats that might be a perfect restorative and healing experience for you.
Why Imiloa is the Perfect Place for a Digital Detox
When we think of a digital detox we assume, “What am I going to miss?” when in fact we ought to ask “What can we gain?”
It’s reported that the time we consume on our phones consists of 30-second bursts. This suggests that what we are doing is an automatic, habitual type of behavior. If we stopped to examine how much of our lives are truly spent on mindless scrolling, the reality can be quite alarming.
There’s no denying that technology is only going to advance with time. But as we find ourselves at a critical moment in time, we’re beginning to witness some of the negative side effects that come with hours of screen time. Think: increased anxiety and stress, insomnia, depression, wasted time and overall, missed opportunities to truly connect with others.
It’s almost as if we are stuck in a catch-22; a conundrum of some sort. In a way, we are more connected than ever, yet why do so many of us feel so disconnected?
This need for space and time spent away from our screens is dire. With our “smartphone addictions” forming at an all-time high, health experts are deeming this the year of the “tech diet.” This trend of digital detox experiences is on the rise as more modern travelers are seeking opportunities to go offline.
Pioneering this innovative concept to “disconnect to reconnect” is at the center of Imiloa. It’s at the “Heart” (where we dine, chill and create) of this 5-star Institute where zero internet is available. It encourages guests to interact, connect, and engage in their present surroundings (which are extraordinary, pre-historic jungle trees and animals).
The space is designed to honor the indigenous Costa Ricans that came before us while incorporating Balinese culture. It’s a multi-use, dining, lounge, and relaxation area, ideal for group and individual meditation and rejuvenation. It’s not a particularly challenging space but it’s design challenges guests to be intimate with themselves, and each other. It causes some discomfort, but once a few nights have passed, the real reward and connection is from the very art of the disconnect.
Disconnection with ourselves means we can’t listen to our inner guidance system. We hand over our personal power, including to our technology. We divert from real human connection, from the healing powers of nature, and most importantly, from ourselves. Imiloa has dedicated itself to being a pathway for people to find their way back home to themselves. The property is a catalyst for this very simple appeal.
One of the Founding Family members from Imiloa Institute, Eric Grotefeld, a wildly successful investor, entrepreneur and activist in the area of reducing our interaction with technology, shares that he checks his phone only once a week. It was this concept of limiting screen time that inspired Eric and the Imiloa team to create the environment in “Heart.”
Eric says that “Imiloa is a unique place that presents guests a gift of newfound freedom: time and space spent in nature.” It is this belief that as humans, our first true love is mother earth. It’s why the aesthetics at Imiloa are characterized by the surrounding Costa Rican Savegre Mountains. We chose intentionally.
There’s an ambiance throughout Imiloa that makes room for guests to experience an immediate connection to nature, without the itch to check-in online. Imiloa provides a safe place to open up, dig deep, and self reflect while practicing intention setting, engaging more, and learning to be fully present.
The result is not only a renewed sense of awe and freedom in life, but it is also that many of our guests come back and see us two and three times a year for various retreats. It’s as much about the co-attendees, the masters themselves and the nature and structure of Imiloa that make people want to come back again and again.
Giving yourself a break from digital communication is proven to bring significant benefits, both mentally and emotionally. Our goal is to provide a space where guests can free themselves from the noise and “clutter” of the digital world and return to a more mindful and balanced lifestyle, recharged.