3 Steps to Choosing the Best Retreat Center Based on Your Audience

Posted on December 27, 2018 by Erin Culleny in Retreat Planning

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Speaker Giving a Talk at a Church Retreat

Choosing a retreat center is a big decision – and it’s one that requires you to zero in on your audience while you’re still in the planning stages for your retreat. Your audience’s demographics will help determine:

  • What type of retreat center you need
  • What amenities and activities need to be near the retreat center
  • The size, style, and type of meeting facilities, lodging, and other necessities

How to Choose the Best Retreat Center Based on Your Audience

First things first: You need to find a retreat center that can accommodate all the people you plan to invite, and it must be a quality establishment. It’s about more than your reputation as a retreat planner – it’s about ensuring your guests have a great time and establish relationships the way they need to.

Step 1: Evaluate Your Audience’s Demographics

Once you’ve zeroed in on a retreat center that can accommodate your guests, start looking at their demographics. 

Are you inviting only adults, or are families welcome to join you at the retreat center? Will the elderly or people with special needs be attending? Are you hosting a teens-only event

Answering these questions will help you determine what you need in a facility.

Step 2: Match Your Guests With the Facility 

Five Happy Kids

Here’s a quick breakdown of how you can cater to each demographic:

  • Adults only: Choose a facility that offers the right type of lodging and amenities, as well as comfortable meeting facilities.
  • Families: In addition to lodging, amenities and meeting facilities, you need a facility that provides childcare, entertainment options for kids and kids’ meals.
  • Teens: Ensure you choose a facility with enough lodging for chaperones and hosts, as well as amenities that can keep teens occupied when they’re not directly supervised.
  • Elderly: ADA-compliant facilities are essential, but consider that ease-of-use – like first-floor accommodations – can be helpful to your guests.

The facility you choose needs to have:

  • Indoor recreation, such as a swimming pool, gymnasium and workout room, as well as things like racquetball courts.
  • Outdoor recreation, such as lake activities, tennis courts, nature trails for hiking, and a kids’ playground.
  • Proximity to off-site activities, like beaches, state parks, and theatres.
  • Blocks of rooms or entire buildings designed to accommodate all the guests in your retreat.
  • Dining options and facilities that cater to special dietary needs.
  • Free coffee throughout your group’s stay.

Step 3: Ensure the Facility Has What You Need for the Retreat

Your guests are the main priority, but you need to make sure the facility you choose has the right meeting rooms and conference rooms for your event. Whether you’re hosting 12 people or 1,200 people, you need a facility that can accommodate them all. Look for a facility that offers things such as:

  • Flat-screen televisions and DVD players in every meeting room
  • Hook-ups for your own audio-visual equipment
  • Spacious auditoriums, rooms with tables and meeting rooms designed for row seating

Do You Need to Choose a Retreat Center?

America’s Keswick can help you put on your church’s best retreat yet. For more than eight decades, we’ve provided gorgeous retreat spaces for church groups across the country. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and schedule a tour of our well-rounded facility, so please contact us today to learn more.

Want more tips on how to plan a retreat?

Check out our Complete Guide to Retreat Planning.

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