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.