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The Doing It Online Podcast Episode 62: How to host an online retreat for your clients!

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The Doing It Online Podcast Episode 62: How to host an online retreat for your clients

Things You’ll Learn in this Episode of Doing it Online:

  • The benefits of the RSVP AND how to actually get your clients to send them in!
  • How long your retreat should run for and the best way to structure it out…
  • The tools we recommend and of course, a couple of extra tips + tricks along the way…

The online business life is amazing, right? It’s so INCREDIBLE to be living in a time where we can create communities with people from all over the world… 

…But there’s nothing quite like that ‘in person’ connection, is there?

So, how do we recreate that in an online business? Well, one of my top answers would be to host a virtual retreat! 

The Doing It Online Podcast Episode 62: How to host an online retreat

Sounds awesome, right? But how do you do it? And what do you need to get started? Is it expensive? How does a virtual retreat even work?

All of those questions are answered and more in this episode. I’m going to walk you through my top tips for how to host an online retreat for your clients (and make it epic!) and share what we’ve learned along the way.

Because, yes. There are definitely do’s and don’ts!

So, let’s chat about what they are, right now… 

(By the way, as always, these notes are just here for you to reference, the real juicy stuff is in the actual episode itself, so definitely go give that a listen!) 

1. Keep your days short (no-one likes a numb bum.) 

A full day of retreating…is exhausting. And a virtual event is even more so. Must be because we’re just sitting, staring at a screen, we’re not hopping up and physically moving from room to room. So, feel free to play with what makes sense for your audience, but I’d recommend 4 hours a day would be ideal. It’s long enough to feel a little bit luxurious and short enough that people will be able to retain the information better. And their butts won’t go numb. So, that’s good. 

2. Try and find a time that suits everyone (but read my caveat!)

Obviously, there’s not going to be a time that’ll work for everyone, that’s just not possible. But do give some consideration to how it could work for your audience. I give a couple of practical ideas on how you can do that in the episode. For now, just let me say this isn’t something to lose sleep over. And ultimately, respect your own energy and that of your guest speakers because you’re the ones showing up to deliver the content, you need to be as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as possible.  

3. Switch it up

If you give your retreat days an agenda, try to swap it around day to day. For example we start out with a welcome, then into a session and then we break out into small groups. So if we switch that order up on the second day, as many people as possible get to take part in as many different types of content as possible. 

4. Get those RSVP’s!

The Doing it Online Podcast ep 62: how to host an online retreat

It’s no secret that one of the funnest part of a live event is the goodie bag, right?? RIGHT?
Well, it is for me. And we have a real ‘gift-giving’ culture here at Hello Funnels and I really love that we have it so built into our brand and part of our program. So, of course, we send out a swag bag to everyone who rsvp’s for the retreat.

It adds to the experience for everyone and helps to build the excitement. Plus, it bribes them to RSVP in the first place. 

Loot bags are just such a great opportunity to give your people something tangible from you, that they can hold in their hands. And if your business isn’t in a position to send physical gifts, try creating something digitally. 

*We’re intentional and thoughtful about what our swag bags are filled with. We don’t just choose plastic crap and stick our logo on it. 

5. Keep it simple

Should I just tattoo that sentence to my forehead already? I’m ALL about the simple life. I’m always asking “what’s the simplest way I can do this?” Because otherwise you’re just creating an absolute headache for yourself. 

So, please, for the love of confetti, keep it simple. We’ve made our retreat into a repeatable format, we have one internal speaker and one external speaker on each day and a masterminding session. We’re not trying to coordinate 25 different speakers from different time zones. 

Simple. Elegant. Powerful. 

6. Add the fanfare and occasion

We like to have a little awards ceremony and roll out our digital red carpet. We celebrate our members who have hit some big milestones and throw digital ticker tape all over them.  One of the first things we actually get people inside eCourse Empire to do is to calculate their Financial Freedom Checkpoint (if you don’t know what that is, go have a listen to this episode here.) And when they hit that? We send them a little present and it’s nice to acknowledge that again on the digital stage at our retreat and celebrate them. 

This sense of occasion really helps to replicate those ‘in person’ vibes.

7 Offer the opportunity to mastermind

We broke out into small groups each day at our last retreat. It was one of the simplest things to implement, and it was one of the things that people loved the most! We just did ours in zoom and broke out into separate rooms. No matter what your topic is, I’d recommend you have some sort of opportunity for your people to have time to chat and connect with each other. 

8 The tools 

Hopefully this episode has shown you that creating your own online retreat doesn’t have to be complicated! In terms of the tools you’ll need, I 100% recommend you get Zoom. And get the paid version, because you’ll need more than 45 minutes. Make sure you grab the pricing plan that allows for breakout rooms if you’re going to offer that. 

The Doing It Online Podcast Episode 62: How to host an online retreat for your clientsThe Doing It Online Podcast Episode 62: How to host an online retreat for your clients

And if you’re using Slack, create a separate Slack channel, dedicated to retreat attendees. And if you’re using Facebook for your community, maybe create a new group for retreat only. Just something live and interactive for your audience. 

And that’s my tips for how to host an online retreat for your clients!

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