5 Check-in Tips for Your Upcoming Church Retreat

Posted on October 2, 2018 by Erin Culleny in Retreat Planning

Church Retreat Check In Tips

When you’re planning a church retreat, whether it’s for kids, adults or everyone in-between, it’s important that you implement check-in procedures that are easy to train workers to use – and that don’t inconvenience your guests. Here are five check-in tips for your upcoming church retreat that you’ll be glad to use.

5 Check-In Tips for Your Upcoming Church Retreat

Having a great check-in process sets the tone for your entire retreat – it’s the first interaction most people have on their getaway, so it has to run smoothly. Make check-in simple by using these tips:

  1. Send out a pre-retreat email with check-in details
  2. Put together a well-trained staff
  3. Use check-in software to make the process paperless, or run an efficient paper system
  4. Create a good traffic flow
  5. Have a written plan in place

1. Send Out a Pre-Retreat Email With Check-In Details

People are excited to attend your retreat, so send out an email ahead of time that details how the check-in process will work. Ideally, you’ll send them a quick note at least three days out with the subject line, “How to Check-In at the {Insert Name Here} Retreat.”

Fill the email with step-by-step instructions, including:

  • What to bring for check-in (confirmation numbers and ID, for example)
  • Where to check in
  • What to wear, if applicable

2. Put Together a Well-Trained Staff

The size of your staff depends on the number of people attending your church retreat, but one thing’s for sure: they all need to be briefed on where they’ll be working, what to do when someone can’t find a confirmation number or has forgotten ID, how to guide people to check-in areas and what to do when something unexpected happens.

3. Use Check-in Software or Run an Efficient Paper System

Many church groups don’t use check-in software, but if the event is going to be relatively large – and if you plan on hosting more church retreats in the future – it may be a good idea to invest in some now.

If you’re not quite ready to invest in check-in software that streamlines the process, make sure your paper check-in system is incredibly efficient. One way to do that is to have multiple check-in log books that each staff member uses throughout check-in, then turns in; one person is responsible for gathering them and piecing together a master check-in book.

Pro Tip: Use binders with detachable pages, and dedicate each page to a letter of the alphabet. Funnel your guests through alphabetical lines, depending on the number of staff members you have working. When check-in is complete, organize the check-in sheets in a master binder.

4. Create a Good Traffic Flow

As soon as your guests arrive at the retreat center, they should know exactly where to go for check-in. Make sure there’s ample signage in the parking area, station ushers at well-trafficked locations and train your staff to guide people to the next step in the process.

5. Have a Written Plan in Place, and Share It With the Venue

Write down what’s supposed to happen:

  • Where guests will enter from
  • How many people will work the check-in tables
  • How much space you need for check-in lines
  • What happens if people leave and come back

Share your written plan with the venue’s staff to ensure everyone’s on the same page.

Are You Planning a Church Retreat?

If you’re hosting a church retreat and you want it to be a resounding success, we can help. At America’s Keswick, you will have no shortage of quality time and relationship building activities to choose from. If you have specific questions or would like a tour of the facility, please contact our office today.

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