It’s just four easy payments of…. I’m sure you’ve seen statements like this when ordering online or in apps. Even a $12 pizza can be put on a payment plan. Why? Because 4 payments of $50 over 4 months sounds better than $200 all at once. Retreat planners can run into this as well. Especially if a family with 4 kids is looking to send them all to summer camp. The cost can add up quickly, and many people find it easier to pay a little at a time instead of saving it up to pay at once.
More appealing. As previously stated, payment plans play into the psychological factor in spending money, making people think they are spending less. Or at least that they would have time to save it up as they make the payments over time. Unfortunately, price is often a factor that determines whether or not people attend a retreat, and they can miss out on a truly life-changing experience.
Better commitment. Since people have already given you some money, they are more likely to attend the event.
Earlier registration. Start planning ahead. They may be giving you payments, but you still have to have totals before the event. Because you will need these sooner, they will have to sign up earlier, thus giving you truer numbers.
It takes more work. You will have to have a good system to keep track of payments made and what is still owed. And if you have a group of 100+, that is a lot of separate money to keep track of. The catch with payment plans is that you have to be able to contact these people and remind them that they owe you a payment. And what do you do if they miss a payment?
You may lose money. If people run out of money, fall behind on payments, or change their minds, you will have the hassle of dealing with the consequences.
Another thing to consider is how you will accept payments. If people pay with a card, will you be absorbing the fee? Do you have a good way to keep track of cash?
Event planning is challenging enough, make sure you have a plan for payments, whether in installments or lump sums. Our main suggestion is to make sure you have all of the payments before the start of the event.