4 Questions to Ask a Christian Retreat Center When Choosing a Location

Posted on August 31, 2018 by Erin Culleny in Retreat Planning

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Location, location, location.  

This is the mantra when it comes to real estate yet it also rings true in the context of selecting a Christian retreat center.

The space in which your retreat is conducted matters just as much as the activities and theme you select for the event.  Let’s take a look at the top questions to ponder when considering the location for your upcoming retreat.

1. Will The Site Accommodate My Group’s Needs?

Take some time to think about what your group needs in terms of lodging, accommodations, food, space, activities, and beyond.  Document your specifications for the retreat so you can cover your needs in detail with the retreat center.

Experienced event planners know that if the retreat center cannot meet the majority of your group’s needs, moving forward will put you on the path to a disappointing event.

Let’s think this through – if your event requires one or several meeting rooms and audio-visual equipment, inquire not only about the room configuration but the specifics of the audio-visual equipment available.

Don’t forget to ask about the expense of using the equipment, as you want to limit the surprises during checkout.

2. What Activities Can My Group Partake In?

Certain retreat centers, including Christian based retreat centers, provide a seemingly endless number of group activities while others are more centered on seminars and working sessions.

It’s probably a mistake to assume every single advertised activity will be included in the cost of the package or even available when you are attempting to book the event.

Be certain to ask for the details before finalizing the location, retreat package, and communication material.

3. Does the Site Have The Resources To Accommodate My Group’s Diverse Nutritional Requirements?

It’s not surprising that the food plan is an important component of the retreat center experience.  If your group is health conscious or big eaters, serving the wrong snacks or running out, can get the retreat headed in the wrong direction.

It’s not a huge issue for every group, but planners know that people can be selective about their food and snacks, so make certain you feel confident about the food plan you select.

And of course, don’t forget about food allergies and dietary restrictions. Confirm that the culinary team can accommodate those needs.

You might also inquire as to whether dining is buffet style or if servers will bring the meals directly to your tables.  Again, depending on your group’s needs, you may greatly prefer one of the other.

4. Will We Be Somewhat Isolated Or Right In the Midst Of Everything?

There are no two-retreat facilities set up the same way – and that’s a good thing.

If your group needs a location with exclusive use, you might want to be wary of a center that requires you to share certain components of the retreat with other guests.

On a related note, some retreat centers are best suited for small groups while others can accommodate dozens or even hundreds of participants.  Find out the maximum group capacity beforehand so you do not show up to find out there is insufficient space.

Bonus Tip: If you are planning an overnight event, better ask about the type of lodging available and whether options differ by group size, price or activities planned.

We trust that these questions to ask will enable you to have a more productive first meeting with potential retreat centers and venues. At America’s Keswick, we have a variety of articles and tools to help your event be a complete and unqualified success. If you have specific questions or would like a tour of the facility, please contact our office today

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