Do you ever feel like you find yourself in a dead end when it comes to promoting your next retreat?
Do you feel like you’ve tried everything you’ve heard about marketing but are coming up empty handed, leaving you exhausted and discouraged?
I get it. I’ve been there too. It wasn’t that long ago that I struggled to fill my retreats.
So what do you need to do?
Learn to created some buzz!
Get other people excited!
Get your community on board with your vision!
Retreats are all about building up your community first and foremost. Community / Sangha is the most important aspect of our yoga practice. And the Sangha is what breathes the life into our studio.
So how do you get the buzz going?
Why do free events work so well when it comes to promotion?
It’s all about building and creating a strong sense of community, which every single one of us craves. Holding community events brings people together. When you hold events outside of the studio with regular practice times, it provides a much-needed connection and a chance for students to get to know you better.
Events also provide real, in-person exposure to those who only know you online. (All of which are key factors in a student’s decision to spend money to spend a week with you at a retreat.)
Over the years, I have held many free community events to bring my students together. It is during these events that I have forged strong friendships, strengthened ties of the community, and cultivated life-long relationships with students.
Here are some ideas for community events that tie into your upcoming retreats:
1. Host a cultural event based on your retreat location.
For example, if you are hosting your next retreat in Hawaii. you could have a luau, and ask everyone to dress up and bring a Hawaiian dish. During the event you can play Hawaiian music, have a Hawaiian meditation to help people get a feeling for the experience, provide fun cultural facts, and share pictures and stories of you scouting for your retreat and/or pictures from your last retreat. You could even give away prizes or offer a special discount for your retreat for the people who show up.
2. Hold a concert or party
Twice, I have brought the musician, Wah!, to my yoga studio in New York City. Bringing in a musician to celebrate Kirtan is a great way to bring people together and get them out of their box. As the old expression goes, “Music is the window to the soul” and there is a genuine sense of authenticity that is engendered. During the event, hold a drawing for a free massage for the people who have already signed up for your retreat.
3. An Equinox or Solstice Celebration
At each Equinox or Solstice, my studio always held a special class to honor and celebrate these sacred moments. At the end of these classes, the students were invited to stay and share in refreshments and cake. These moments were very special, near to my heart and they fostered a deep sense of community and fellowship. It was during these moments that members of the community would talk about the upcoming retreats and encourage others to join in.
Need help figuring out what community events would be the perfect counterpart to your retreat? Share your upcoming retreat in the comments section and we’ll provide you with feedback and ideas to help you flush out your idea more.
About Yogi Aaron
Yogi Aaron brings passion and adventure to his teaching. Inspired, he guides students to secret and far-flung locales, empowers them to realize their own limitless potential, and makes yoga relevant and accessible for the modern world. Since 2002 he has been traveling and leading retreats worldwide and currently, serves as the yoga director at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat + Spa in Costa Rica