We want to help you see lives changed at your event! In order for that to happen, however, you need people to sign up! We know that marketing a retreat and actually getting sign ups can be a difficult and time intensive process, which is why we want to help make it easier for you by providing you with some tips and resources!
We've learned a few tricks of the trade over the years about how to successfully promote retreats. Here are the top five most helpful ones we've discovered:
- Use as many communication mediums as possible. People often don't sign up for something after hearing about it the first time, so utilize a whole range of methods to spread the word. Some ideas include using bulletin inserts, slides, video promos, announcements, signup sheets after an announcement, Facebook event invites, posts on your church/ministry Facebook/Instagram page, email reminders, word-of-mouth recruiters (who are relational, not pushy), and even invitations to other churches or ministries. Combining many of these methods together also builds hype which prompts people to actually stop and consider whether they want to attend.
- Word of mouth is your best friend. The multiple points of contact listed above are valuable, but in the end nothing is as effective as the encouragement of a friend. When people are invited to attend an event because someone they know wants them to be there, it adds a much stronger incentive to attend. Consider enlisting (and maybe even incentivizing… a Starbucks gift card never hurt anyone!) registered attendees to get their friends to sign up!
- Address the roadblocks. Sometimes those who would might be interested in the retreat immediately dismiss the idea of attending because they believe there's some roadblock preventing them from attending. Determining what those hindrances are and then explaining how you help them get around it will expand the pool of individuals who will seriously think about attending. For example, if you're providing childcare, let people know! That might prompt a mom with young kids to switch from instantly dismissing the thought of attending to actually giving it serious consideration.
- Follow-up personally. Now days many people seem hesitant to commit to an event right away, even if they are genuinely interested in going. Keep track of those who have expressed some interest but didn't sign up right away; as the retreat approaches, send them a personal follow-up asking if they are still interested. This can help move people from sitting on the fence to making a decision.
- Make your promo pull, not push. Instead of trying to convince everyone to attend by pushing them to come, show them how it would add value to their lives; this will pull them in and get them excited about it. Think of what motivates your potential attendees; how can you tell a story or craft your appeal to speak to those desires?
But we don't want to leave you with just head knowledge about how to promote, we also want to equip you with practical tools to help in this process. Take a look at the options below to see what might be valuable to you as you recruit:
We help you pick from one of these five postcard templates, customize it with your retreat details, and then ship them to you for free so you have postcards to use for recruiting!
Want a promo video for your retreat but don't have time to make one yourself? Use this quick video to communicate the value of a retreat to potential attendees.