When everything is all set, the bookings are made and the time for your retreat is near, it’s a great idea to welcome everyone ahead of time. It is always great to make them feel you care about them and you are doing your best to offer a great experience. Students always appreciate a Welcome Packet that will help them prepare and make things easier for them. I’m sure they’ll thank you!
Let’s talk about your Welcome Packet
A Welcome Packet is a digital package you send to your guests ahead of the retreat to say “Thank you for joining”, and to welcome them to the experience. It’s usually a PDF document that contains useful information that will make their stay enjoyable, and make them feel how much you genuinely care for them.
What to include
Here is a comprehensive list of items to include in your Welcome Packet. These will cover all the basics, but anything else you can think of that will be valuable to your students feel free to add it.
- A personal note, welcoming them to your retreat, sharing your excitement and thanking them for joining you.
- A beautifully designed timetable that clarifies what is included and what isn’t, so they know what to expect.
- A checklist with things to pack for the retreat.
- A map of the area, information about the local attractions, practical advice about moving around, and places to eat.
- Practical information such as contact numbers, time zone details, passport and visa requirements, immunization details (if applicable), the exchange rate, WiFi availability.
- A small dictionary containing a few useful phrases in the local language.
- You can talk to them about Travel Insurance, and ideally, you should make this a requirement.
- You can also share your thoughts with them and recommend other activities they can enjoy in the area, or books that will complement the experience.
Waivers and Traveler Information
Waivers are not much fun, but they are necessary for your protection. You need to make sure you have them signed and returned to you before you receive full payment. Your students could sign a PDF document or you can collect electronic signatures with Hellosign.
Essential traveler information goes along with the Waiver. In a spreadsheet, you need to collect details such as names, contact numbers, emergency contacts, any allergies or dietary restrictions, injuries or health issues and anything else you feel is important. It is advisable to share that information with the retreat venue; include flight details in case they are organizing transport for you. Retreat Centers like the Yoga Loft are great with things like that. They are very experienced and can help with local transport and logistics.
Waivers and Traveler Information can go out along with the final payment reminder about a week before it’s time for final payment.
Dietary needs and retreat menu
Even people without specific dietary needs are concerned about the food. So make sure you include all the information. Of course, ask about any particular needs and make sure you cater to them, but talk to your guests about the food. Sometimes they are worried that they will be hungry because it is a Yoga Retreat!
With venues like the Yoga Loft, which has its very own organic farm-to-table concept, you could even advertise the food! Make sure they know you will be offering plates that are plentiful, tasty, and nourishing for their bodies.
Make sure that whoever is preparing the food is aware of any special dietary needs in advance.
Make your Welcome Packet beautiful
All the digital documents that you send should look appealing and reflect the feel of your retreat. Visualize the experience and create a design that does justice to your offering. Write everything down in a way that is clear, easy to read, and beautiful. Software applications, such as Canva, can help you with the design process. Make sure there is consistency and uniformity in the different documents. They all need to look like they accompany the same experience. Use the same fonts, colors, and formatting, and incorporate a beautiful logo.
Send it well in advance
Since your Welcome Packet contains all this valuable information, it’s better to send it well in advance of the retreat. Anything from one to three months ahead of the retreat will be fine.
Maybe your Welcome Packet is just a PDF document, but make it beautiful. Ensure that your logo, aesthetics, and your point of view about the experience are clear and resonate with your guests. Make people look forward to coming, create excitement, and also make them think how well everything will be organized.
Don’t forget to include your Facebook and Instagram accounts, as well as your direct contact details, so it’s easy to reach you in case they need to ask a question. If you choose an experienced and well-organized venue to host your retreat like the Yoga Loft, answering questions and handling the logistics will be a lot more straightforward.