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Christian Retreats Network

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Flexibility is King with Off-site Events

By Ashley

All inclusive packages elicit notions of great family vacations, where the focus is on bonding because parents don't have to worry about the details of meal preparation or paying for individual activities.  The question is, can this same idea work well for your off-site events?  Groups need flexibility to accommodate all their members well, so it is understandable that leaders could be somewhat skeptical. The team at Christian Retreats Network custom builds each package of our plans to meet the individual needs of each group.  This allows us to hold true to our value of providing a quality affordable retreat experience without groups feeling boxed in.

There are two major reasons for properties to offer a package rate plan instead of À la carte pricing.

1. Financially, the property can control their costs, allowing them to translate those savings into a higher grade product for less. 

2. The real advantage comes in on the guest service side. Using packages completely changes the approach and attitude of staff from handling a transaction to an abundance mentality: "What more can I do for you?" Those who are serving don't need to focus on counting or checking how much of something was used or what the bill will be.  Instead, their assignment can be best focused on how to meet the guest's needs.

When comparing facility options, look for organizations that value serving guests at a level that exceeds your expectations.  Do they make you feel like serving you is more about going above and beyond than simply meeting your needs?  Facilities that truly want to partner with you offer packages because they find that by doing so, it pairs our strengths with your strengths to create an environment ripe with opportunities for guests to have life-changing encounters with God.

The facilities' strengths lie in preparing, serving and cleaning up meals, set-up and take down of conference space, coordinating recreation time amongst groups, etc.

Your strengths lie in providing ministry elements such as worship and small group study sessions.  By offering packages, the facility allows you to focus on your programming and creating memories, while they take care of the necessities.

Flexibility is key when choosing to go with all inclusive packages.  Allowing you, as the event planner, to choose which elements are included in your package is essential. Once a price per person is established, the focus is then shifted to working out logistics and providing hospitality that allows for life changing ministry. For example, including meeting space with AV equipment in packages because these items are ministry essentials. The ability to ensure that the facility's staff will handle the room setup so that you can focus on providing the ministry elements for your group without the distraction of needing to get 100 chairs set up and a whole sound system wired is essential. When you need an extra LCD projector or want all the chairs to face another direction, you never have worry about additional charges because that's already included.

One of the most gratifying experiences for an event planner is when the speaker gives an appeal and guests come forward to give themselves to Christ. That makes all the hard work worth it. Even better, are the messages received after the event, be it a camp or weekend conference, that share how the event has re-energized their church or how a student was able to hear God's calling for their life. All inclusive packages make these moments possible.

Christian Retreats Network /

Based at Lake Williamson / PO Box 620 / Carlinville, IL 62626