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April 06
3 Reasons Why “Off-the-Beaten-Path” Is Perfect for Your Group Retreat

Have you ever been to a working retreat where you were expected to leave your work behind, think creatively and get out of your box? Or, a personal/spiritual retreat where you just wanted to get away from the frantic pace back home? But, when you arrived, you discovered the same fluorescent lighting, din of traffic, phone distractions and wide screen temptations that you thought you left behind? Your retreat attendees have, too!

Here are a few good reasons to hold your retreat at a location that’s a little bit off the beaten path.


1. Leaving one city to retreat to another city might leave your constituents feeling like they should have just stayed home.

By its definition, retreat means “the act of withdrawing, as into safety or privacy; a place of refuge, seclusion, or privacy.” (ref. www.dictionary.com) But, often, retreats end up being booked within a city, simply for the convenience of being near an airport.

Don’t make “convenience” an altar to sacrifice your retreat on. People need, and want, to get away from it all. Whether it’s a working retreat, or a personal/spiritual retreat, the expectation is that they’re going to have some quiet space to think, pray and/or be creative.

Give them something unusual. Something quiet, peaceful, relaxing. Something restful. And a place that gives them the space to think outside the box. A place where they can be creative.

All that can be difficult to achieve in a setting that’s surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s your privilege to give them the physical space that enhances their retreat experience!

2. The intrinsic value of a satisfying retreat outweighs the transportation cost of not being near an airport.

All too often, retreats are booked within city limits due to the transportation cost savings of being near an airport. But, have you considered this: That the little money saved on transportation by your retreat attendees may be more than offset by the feeling that they wasted their registration and travel expenses on a retreat that left them empty?

Granted, the content, programming and free time activities will weigh in heavily on whether the retreat will be perceived as worth every penny. But, the all-too-familiar mantra of real estate agents holds true for retreats, too. Location, location, location.

Give your group something different. Something out-of-the-ordinary. Consider something that isn’t just a box surrounded by concrete.

Father Son (Landscape).JPG

​3. Distractions do just that: Distract!

How many times have you arrived at a retreat location, entered your room, thrown your bags on the bed and . . . turned on the TV!? We all do it. We’re creatures of habit.

Or, how many times have you arrived at your retreat location, only to cross a busy street to get to the conference center? Or, were tempted by the numerous retail stores on the way back to your accommodations? Or, played with the notion you could skip a break-out session to catch the latest movie at the theater down the street?

That doesn’t do much for either your experience as an attendee, or the retreat organizers’ goals for you being there.

You want your guests to be focused on their purpose for being there. You want them to “leave it all behind,” and think about what you’re offering them in an unobstructed way. But, you may not have removed all the distractions you could have, simply because of the retreat location you selected.

Provide a distraction-free setting for your retreat attendees, and you’ll find they’ll be much more focused on why they’re there, and your hopes and goals for the retreat are more likely to be met.

The take away | Consider the value of offering a place for your retreat attendees that’s off-the-beaten-path: A physical location that enhances their retreat experience, intrinsic value that outweighs transportation costs and a distraction-free setting that increases the chances of your goals for the retreat being met.




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