"BE BETTER THAN THE GAP"- How a line in a movie created my retreat services!
Oh please tell me you have seen the movie Crazy, Stupid, Love. from 2011? The abs and charm of Ryan Gosling (Jacob) and the adorable dadness of Steve Carrell (Cal), yes please! For those who don’t know, I have an extensive hoodie “collection”. And as a child of the 80s and 90s it once included many of the GAP logo classics. Yes - these two things ARE related…..
In Crazy, Stupid, Love. there is a scene where the stylish Casanova, Jacob, is up-styling the soon to lose his wife, Cal. Cal can’t understand why his current look isn’t enough. Jacob replies with a line that will live in infamy, “Be better than the Gap, Cal!” Honestly, I was most likely wearing a GAP hoodie when this line graced the screen and it has stuck with me FOR LIFE.
I am hoping that I don’t have to get all deep here and explain why this is such a superb metaphor for life (and especially business!) The summary: Don’t get stuck in the average. Show up as your best self and embrace the abundance of life!
As an avid traveler and soaker upper of life I was SO TIRED of seeing cookie cutter "wellness retreats" and "business intensives". With my event and leadership experience and well DUH my travel professional expertise I KNEW there was a way to do better!
Don’t get me wrong, I still own a GAP hoodie (or five) - it is a solid staple and has a basic purpose. Take a few seconds to really envision your next vacation or retreat. Do you want it to be “basic”? Sure, meh that’s ok. Or do you want it to be “outstanding”? You see where I am going here.
For destination retreats, retreating from the regular will make or break for your event and significantly impact your profits. RETREATing from the regular doesn’t have to mean only using ultra-posh luxury and up-sells! There are many no cost/low cost up-levels that will make your retreat seamless. Putting your guests at ease and making them feel like the celebrity they are.
Here are three things to consider for location to add luxury to a retreat:
Be crystal clear on the atmosphere you want to create for your guests. Most people tell me “intimate” and this means something different to everyone. As intimate as one bathroom for every 4-5 people? Is dorm style or bunk beds ok? Neither of these is a ‘wrong’ choice, but you must understand the pros and cons of different accommodation styles (private home rental, eco-chic resort, boutique hotel, big brand resort, etc…) Using the pros of each venue type to your advantage and establishing those expectations in your marketing will create a sense of being catered to for your guests.
The actual geographical location. I will revisit this again and again and again. Look off the beaten path for unique countries and areas that will make your retreat stand out. Sedona, Bali, Greece, Costa Rica, Italy…. All gorgeous but also all over visited. If one of these is your MUST be locations then be sure to pick a part of the country/area that is different and not over-run with groups during excursions and such. The options are LITERALLY ENDLESS.
Once you know the TYPE of accommodations and the ACTUAL location that match your retreat intentions, you have to pick the RIGHT MATCH. Just because the website looks wonderful doesn’t mean the pictures are up to date. Vet your property accommodations fully! Be sure the amenities are all working. Will the pool be heated? No spa on-site, is there one in the area? Can you negotiate an included breakfast or welcome reception? When was the last time the mattresses were updated? (That’s a biggie - nothing ruins a great location like a crappy sleep).
If you are thinking of or in the middle of planning a retreat, I invite you to schedule a free strategy call. In less than 30 minutes, you can get clarity on your unique offer, ideas for sweet swag that people won't throw away, easy and low cost up-levels to elevate the event, even review of safety protocols and contracts if needed. CLICK HERE to schedule a strategy session.