Thinking about co-planning a Retreat? Read this first.

Excited about planning a collaborative retreat or gathering with your new biz bestie? Or maybe you connected with someone local whom you think would make an amazing partner for the in-person event that has been growing inside your heart. That is incredibly exciting! There is amazing value in co-creating retreat experiences, especially for first timers. You can share the workload, making it much more manageable to plan – and since you’ll both be connecting with your separate audiences to find enthusiastic attendees, it can double your marketing reach.

Sometimes we can get caught up in awesome energy, which is obviously important when choosing someone to work with on a big project. But I caution against planning a collaborative retreat based on energy alone, without alignment around other factors. It takes a special combination of energetic spark and logistical compatibility to co-plan an in-person event! Developing a successful and healthy collaboration is something that you need to do intentionally.

As a Retreat Planning Consultant, I get a lot of requests to co-plan events. It makes sense – people see me as successful at what I do and imagine I will be their perfect partner. I also have a lot of clients who are considering co-planning – or who are terrified of it (they had too many group project nightmare experiences in college where they did #allthework)! But that’s not going to be you, because you are here reading this, and I have a solution for you. ;) 

Enter stage right: Collaboration: A Wonderful Workbook for Would-Be Collaborators.

It is a super concise and powerful framework nestled in an 8-page workbook that will help you answer the question, “Is this person going to drive me insane or can I really plan a successful event with her?” It reviews what you need to feel clear on BEFORE you schedule a chat with your potential partner, and outlines the conversation you need to have with them BEFORE you decide to jump into planning a gathering together.

This is how to best use the Collaboration Workbook:

  1. Sign up to receive Collaboration: A Wonderful Workbook for Would-Be Collaborators.

  1. Download the Workbook and send a copy to your potential partner, asking them to fill out the section titled “Questions to Ask Yourself” on page 2 (or send them a link to this page and have them sign up to receive a copy).

  2. Fill out “Questions to Ask Yourself” on page 2 with your own answers.

  3. Schedule a time to discuss co-planning with your potential co-planner.

  4. Let your discussion be guided by the Collaboration Conversation Checklist on page 5. Be sure to make notes so you have something to refer back on when you are assessing your conversation and the viability of your collaboration.

Once you’ve answered the questions for yourself and had this conversation with your potential collaborator, it is time for a GUT CHECK. Pause and listen deeply to yourself. Does this feel like a good fit to you? Does anything feel off? NOW is the time to be sensitive to red flags, and ask hard questions – don’t wait until you have already jumped into planning. Be honest about your own limitations, and get clear on theirs. If it feels aligned, you can begin the next steps such as setting clear expectations, defining roles, choosing an online project management system, hiring a planning mentor to help guide you through the process, scouting locations, securing sponsors, marketing to your peeps - all the fun stuff!

Once you have found your RETREAT PLANNING PARTNER (yay!), it’s time to schedule a 90 Minute Roadmap Intensive. You can split the cost, both show up to the session, and I will help you get clear on your next steps to a profitable, meaningful event.

XO Lizzy