We are truly living in unique times. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting everything and everyone. It is affecting our families, our businesses, as well as first responders who are bravely on the front lines.
This situation continues to affect our world. Shops are running out of supplies, companies making employees work from homes, businesses are closing down, laying off employees, airlines are cancelling flights and governments are restricting public gatherings.
Regardless of whether you believe in the virus “craze” or not, it is happening and it is taking a toll on lives and businesses.
If you are reading this post, you are probably debating on whether you should cancel your planned retreat or training.
In this article, we will try to give you a few things to consider before you make your final decision.
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1. Dates of your retreat
No one has a crystal ball to predict the future but some say that our lives can get back to normal by summer 2020 and some say that the outbreak can rage for another 18 months. Having that said, the pandemic has not reached its peak yet. Therefore, if you are running your retreat in the coming months it is safe to assume that it is better to postpone it or cancel.
2. Your retreat location
Some countries are more affected than others are. Many countries in Europe are on a complete lockdown or have restrictions on the movement of citizens and have tightened borders. The list of countries updates daily.
Hence, if your retreat is in one of these countries, it might not currently be allowed to have group gatherings and your clients may not be able to enter the country, not to mention the safety of everyone involved.
Your clients are also reading the news and are probably concerned about their wellbeing. Therefore, if you are running your retreat even in a remote area, you may not be able to get much interest even if your retreat is not happening right now.
3. Ethics and safety
To put it simply, the health system in the affected countries cannot deal with the skyrocketed number of people with symptoms and diagnosed patients. Consequently, this can lead to the accelerated spread of the virus. This needs to be controlled.
As a result, the governments are putting restrictions on social gatherings, restaurants, gyms, cinemas, and recommended (in some countries, enforced) self-isolation. The less you are exposed to others, the less is the chance of the virus spreading, regardless of whether you are ill or showing no symptoms.
Therefore, each one of us plays a crucial role in stopping this pandemic. Knowing all this, why would anyone put at risk themselves and others?
4. Refunds and loyalty
No one can force a retreat host to provide refund if some of their clients cannot attend the retreat due to self-isolation or cancelled flights, especially if the host has a cancellation policy and it specifically states when the client can expect a refund. However, we are all being affected here as we are all in this together.
One thing to remember, loyalty does not have a price and a happy client is a client for life. Therefore, sometimes we have to forget about the contract terms and conditions and just be kind to one another.
It is worth considering a full refund, partial refund, or maybe offering a free space during the future retreats.
Some hosts might be surprised by how understanding their clients can be in this environment.
5. Venue cancellation
The biggest cost for any retreat host is the venue. The host might lose anything from a deposit to full rent of the venue. This is a great opportunity to use the insurance (if there is one).
Based on many posts we saw about this topic on Facebook groups, majority of venue owners are very understandable of the situation everyone is facing and happy to discuss the refund options or change the dates of booking.
6. Be kind
Understandably, everyone’s priority is survival, especially when it comes to our businesses. However, one thing we need to remind ourselves is that we have to be kind to one another!
Everyone is going through some challenging times but we can only get out of it when we think beyond our business bottom line. Of course, everyone’s situation is different and you should do what feels right for you.
The virus will pass but our reputation will remain.
Above all else, our thoughts are with those affected by the virus, particularly those who are sick. We wish them a quick recovery, and we continue to be moved by our healthcare staff and others who are looking after people around the world.
We hope that this post gave you some food for thoughts. Good luck to all of us! Stay safe and wash your hands!
Want to know what your customers are looking for in retreats? Have a look at this article on how to choose retreat.
Interested to learn more about our online market place for retreats? Have a look here!