Terrified of planning ‘space’ in your retreat/workshop/event program? Don’t be.

We’ve all walked away from an intense event, either as a leader or an attendee, in a state of overwhelm and fatigue, rather than inspired, with a sense of clarity.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of creating a jam packed program in pursuit of providing ‘maximum value’. You want the attendees to get as much as possible out of the event and you’re there to give and give.

In fact I know of wellness retreats so intent on “transformation” in the space of a few days that one barely has time to revel in the pure luxe of crisp sheets with an insanely high thread count or the jaw dropping views over the pool. Shuffled along at a prescribed pace from appointment to appointment, ticking off the wellness to do list, albeit with the utmost style and politeness, it’s precision programming.

Chakras lined up. Tick.
Mindfulness managed. Tick.
Liver cleansed. Tick.
Muscles massaged. Tick.
Skin buffed and polished. Tick.
Sleep patterns programmed. Tick.

With no space to dawdle let alone dream or reflect, “daily life busyness” is replaced with “retreat busyness”.

Space enables time and room to think, to learn, to shift into a different pace, ultimately creating the space for clarity.

Planning in space can bring on guilty feelings of ‘I feel like I’m not working hard enough’. The way to get past this is simple.

Go back to WHY your clients have chosen to attend. What is their motivation?

a desire to shift perspective
a need to upskill
to reconnect with creativity
to explore ideas with others
to listen and learn without the chatter and distractions of daily life
for personal development
to have some overdue ‘me time’

Not one of these intentions can be rushed if you want your clients to leave feeling fulfilled.

Programming is Art + Science. You need both.

The SCIENCE of programming involves logistics, resources, financial accuracy. Getting this part right reduces the risk of essential processes such as arrival and departure becoming multi-tasking mania conducted at a frenetic pace.

The ART of programming is a little more intuitive but equally important. Think of it as Energy Planning. Understanding what has the power to ignite the audience whilst at the same time considering their fears, vulnerabilities, and challenges comes into play.

Create the moments of calm in between intense focus.
Bring in surprise and delight at just the right time.
Have a balance of doing and not doing.
Maintain just the right ebb and flow of energy.

And it’s not only the event activity that your clients find appealing. It’s the people they meet that enriches the experience.

Conversations take place when there is space. Real connections happen.

As leaders we’re in charge of the pace of the day. Whilst being responsible for delivering the program on time within budget is a priority, we equally benefit from space in the program. Our energy transfers to the audience. Space allows us to listen, really listen, and to learn.

Post event……. planning in the space to review, reflect and revise not only the program, but your own performance whilst the memories are fresh results in continual improvement.

Whether the event is about coding for success or personal spiritual growth, clients are inevitably looking for the same outcome.

To be taken out of the busyness of their normal work/life to focus their energy on a specific topic/activity. They’re looking for clarity.

Allow for SPACE. Be confident enough to plan it in. Set the PACE.

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