Click Here For The Glamping Business Academy »

Transforming Glamping with Retreat Events: A Conversation with Laura from Welsummer Camping #067

welsummer camping

Are you curious about the world of glamping and unique holiday rentals? In our latest podcast episode, we dive deep into the business of hosting retreat events in a glamping setting.

glamping business startup

In this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Laura from Welsummer Camping, who shared her inspiring journey of integrating retreat events into her glamping business. Laura’s passion for nature and herbal medicine naturally led her to explore retreats as an extension of her glamping site, located in the serene woodlands of Kent, UK. You can also read the full story here.

Laura detailed the process of organizing her first retreat, which included a variety of activities such as yoga, forest bathing, and herbal medicine workshops. Despite initial challenges and sleepless nights, Laura successfully hosted a retreat that deeply resonated with her attendees, creating a profound sense of connection and relaxation.

We discussed the importance of messaging and marketing in attracting the right audience, and Laura shared how her efforts on social media, particularly Facebook, played a crucial role in filling her retreat spaces. She also emphasized the rewarding experience of seeing the positive impact on her guests and how it has reinvigorated her passion for both her glamping business and future retreats.

Laura’s story is a testament to the ripple effect of hosting retreats, not only benefiting the attendees but also enhancing the host’s business and personal fulfilment. As she plans to continue offering retreats, Laura’s journey serves as an inspiration for others in the glamping industry to explore similar ventures.

For those interested in learning more about Laura’s glamping site and upcoming retreats, visit Thank you for tuning in, and I look forward to sharing more stories and insights in our next episode.

If you’re ready to run your own Thriving Retreat Centre Startup, learn the transformative power of retreat events and how they create a ripple effect of positive change for attendees and hosts alike, and dive into the rewarding space of hosting events that lead to personal growth and fulfilment. Explore how sharing knowledge and passion can bring joy and profit by helping others find their path. Learn our comprehensive “Perfectly Planned And Profitable Retreats System®” here:

Follow WelSummer Camping on Instagram @welsummercamping

If you would like to speak with Sarah Riley then please reach out via:

The Glamping Academy

Or Inspired Courses

More from the podcast:

The Glamping Business Podcast Shownotes

Additional Resources And Links Mentioned

Listen to the podcast here:

Inspired Camping

Want To Feature On The Business Of Glamping And Unique Holiday Rentals Podcast?

If you have something inspiring to offer the world of Glamping and Unique Holiday Rentals then get in touch with Sarah Riley and share it on the Podcast. For more information contact Sarah here.

Listen to previous episodes here:


Sarah Riley: It has been my greatest pleasure to work on some astounding retreat events recently from C-level leadership to menopausal females, and pretty much everything in between these events have promised to help transform the lives of attendees and the hosts who are launching them. And I couldn’t be more happy to be involved in them. For me, it’s just been about the ripple effect. It’s just like when you drop a pebble into the water and it sends out a whole host of ripples. A retreat event does exactly the same thing for everyone who benefits from attending them and also from the host who launches them. The ripples are felt by everyone. When I’m asked to come in and help, I do that, knowing that I am helping those ripples to spread for those transformations to happen, and for the hosts to reap the rewards for all of their hard work.

Sarah Riley: So for me, that’s my reward. I really feel this is such an amazing space to be in at the moment. I find it incredibly rewarding, but is it really hard work and is it really profitable From those I’ve spoken to, it’s less work and more joy because they are sharing the knowledge they already have, the passions they already have, and they’re helping people find their zen from three days chasing chickens and making and shooting bows and arrows. And yes, there’ll be more on this in a future episode to 30 days to transform yourself and find the inner person that you lost before. I mean, these retreats come in every shape and size, and it’s just pretty incredible. They cover it all, but the business models are more common. So there’s the standalone retreat business entity. This needs profitability because it’s all about how it can stand on its own as an individual business.

Speaker 1: And so understanding how to build a structure that can be a business on its own, add a career for the host is something quite different. Then there’s the blending of unique accommodation and retreat events. Don’t get this mixed up with glamping plus activities. That’s not the same, that’s different. So the contract is between the guest and the activity provider, but where you have a retreat event that is held over a number of days in glamping accommodation, all hosted by the host who owns the glamping accommodation, then for me, that’s when two separate businesses come together perfectly, like peanut butter and jam or jam cream and scones. Can you tell I’m hungry The key is getting the marketing and the legalities in place to build something that is a joy to host, and that is absolutely possible. Someone said to me the other day, retreats aren’t profitable.

Sarah Riley: So I dispute that. For me, if someone tells you that retreats aren’t profitable and they can’t be sold out, then they’re doing something wrong. It’s not anything to do with the fact that retreats aren’t profitable. They are absolutely profitable. I’ve seen it happen time and time again. It’s all about how they are organized, how they are marketed, how visible you get, and whether your customer, the retreat attendee actually once what you’re providing. And yes, there’s an answer to all of this. You can get all of this right. And I wanna share a little business story. I was contacted by Laura from, well, summer camping, who sent me an email to say, I thought I’d let you know that I’ve managed to sell 10 of my 15 retreat spaces already, and the most expensive tickets went first. I’d put it down to the immediate action taken to change my messaging following your inspiring training.

Sarah Riley: So I wanted to say thanks. So that message from Laura proves that if you put the right techniques in place, you can absolutely sell out your retreat spaces and make your events profitable. So if that’s not happening for you, then maybe you need to review how you’re doing it and do it slightly differently. But that being said, I felt that I had to get Laura on to actually share her story of what she did, her thinking process and everything else in between. So I want to share now an interview, a conversation that I had with Laura after she held her retreat event very successfully. So you can take something from the lesson she learned and apply it to your own situation.

Intro: Glamping and unique holiday rentals are surging in popularity with the growing desire of customers to book holidays that deliver and experience. They are also the new business of choice for those wanting to improve their work life balance. So how do you build a strong business like this that gives you the life you need and a great investment I’m Sarah Riley, and I want to share what I’ve discovered after being immersed in this industry for over 20 years to inspire you to find out more about what’s going on. Welcome. This is the business of glamping and unique holiday rentals.

Sarah Riley: Thank you so much, Laura, for joining me. It’s fantastic that you’ve spared me the time because I know business owners in the glamp industry incredibly busy. So I’m really grateful. but I was so intrigued by your business because you are using retreats to promote your business, to get better occupancy through those quieter times. And it’s something a lot of people in the industry are kind of dabbling with and thinking about. So I thought, you know what It’s great. We’ll get you on and we’ll talk about your experiences and, and really about what you’ve decided to offer and what drove you to offer those things. So let me first ask you who you are and where you are in the world. .

Laura: Okay. Hi, Sarah. Thank you so much for inviting me to talk to you anyways. so, I’m in Kent in the uk, in a, on top of a hill in a beautiful little woodland with some meadows. And it’s just a gorgeous kind of, quiet little place, but in, you know, only an hour from London. So we’re, we are really well placed to be accessible from, from London, but from, we still really feel like we’re away from everything, even though we’re just a quarter of a mile from the motorway. It really is a little haven. So, so yeah, so that’s where me and my husband started our little glamping site back in 2005.

Sarah Riley: So tell me a little bit about the area. What would people who were coming into the area to have a holiday there, what would they tend to do Is it all about relaxing, just looking at the beautiful views and being in nature Or are there any kind of key hotspots around your area

Laura: so it’s quite a variation ’cause we have, sometimes we just have, just adults and quite little couples. So they’ll just tend to sort of sit in their, sit in their spart and enjoy food and relaxing, on the site. But in the summer we are much more family based. And we’ve got Leeds Castle just around the corner. So that’s a really nice, it’s a really nice kind of outing for people to go and do. And there’s quite a lot of sort of, there’s the big cat sanctuary and you know, there’s quite a lot of farm attractions in the area for kids. But, and we are just across from the set from the north down. So we, we’ve got a view out onto the new north down. So it’s much more an outdoorsy sort of experience. Mm-Hmm.

Sarah Riley: So, so what is it about your business and starting to bring in retreats and offering retreats and events What is it that kind of first piqued your interest with that and then drove you to start exploring that as an option

Laura: I think it’s, my, my personal passions for nature and, and herbal medicine that is kind of a separate, a separate thing, yet at the same time the land informs it. So it really is about the land and, and, and the plants for me on a personal level that I found was a good match to the glamping site. So, and, and that I love hosting and, and so it just seemed like a, I’m not really sure when or when the idea came to me, but the idea of wanting to share more about nature and herbs and, and, and encouraging people to connect, and, and wellbeing being such a, such a need at the moment, I think is, is where it, I, I suddenly found that we had something that could add on to what we had already on the glamping site. I don’t think it was so much a need to increase occupancy, although that’s a, a definite benefit. ’cause we do quite well in season. but I think it was more on a personal level that I wanted to be able to share it on a deeper level.

Sarah Riley: I think it’s really interesting what you said there, actually, you summed it up perfectly to what I’ve been thinking, but haven’t been able to put it into words up until this point where you say, you know, the two separate things, the glamping and the retreats and events, but they actually one informs the other and they’re, they’re both very similar and almost that thing in the middle that’s so similar is, or the thing that brings them together is nature and being in nature and wellness and, and recovery and all of those things that we all so much need because of the years of mayhem that we’ve all been going through. And, and now the WHO is saying that we’re facing a, a mental health crisis around the world. And, you know, it’s crazy, crazy times, isn’t it And it’s almost like, yeah, glamping brings this place of serenity where you can just forget all of those things and come together, but there’s always this need for this little bit extra. And if there’s an extra service that helps add benefit to that, such as what you offer, it is just like that perfect match, isn’t it, with Grand Canyon.

Laura: It’s, it really is. yeah. And our site is really, is really aimed at that. It’s, you know, we’ve really built it with nature in mind. So yeah, it really has matched.

Sarah Riley: And some of the things that you offer, I’m sure you, you probably didn’t ever expect your glamping guests to want to be involved in and be part of. But tell me a little bit more about your special skills outside of obviously offering glamping. Tell me a little bit more about that. So what do you, do you teach and, and how do you teach it

Laura: so I started, I started teaching myself about herbal medicine probably a couple of years before covid. I mean, I’ve always been interested in, in herbs and herbal medicine and plants and, botanics. But, I guess it was during the pandemic that I really threw myself into, learning more about it. So then I, then I realized how many people were interested in talking to me when we had the glam, when we got the campsite open and everybody wanted to know and talk about the herbs that I have growing all around the site. So it, it just happened naturally that people were asking me questions, people were asking me for my knowledge. So then I just naturally share it and it, and then we started doing, I started doing the odd workshop here and there to, to people that would ask, but it wasn’t really me that started it, it was them , you know, they asked, they asked, people were asking me to, to, to teach them and show them. So I do, I do workshops on the, on the site. I’ve now got, a wonderful new sort of business partner in, in foraging. So, Claire, Claire Bates. So she, she’s helping me. She’s really encouraging me to sort of move into the workshops and teaching a little bit more. So we’re doing that together.

Sarah Riley: Oh, that’s fantastic. So is it something that you feel you’ve naturally kind of evolved into, or have you always had that kind of hidden skill of teaching Because a lot of people that I speak to who are thinking about doing retreats, they say, but I, you know, I couldn’t stand there and tell people, you know, how does that all work for you How did that work Is that something that you are naturally when

Laura: I, no, I’m not, I’m not super confident with the teaching part, although everyone tells me that I’m, that I can do it. My parents are both teachers. My grandparents were teachers. Teaching is definitely in the family. And I always said, no, I’m never gonna be the teacher. But, I just, yeah, I have just a literally have, it’s kind of been an organic thing where I’ve got something to share and whether I’m a good at teaching it or not, I, you know, if I have something to share and people will listen, then, then, then I’m happy. but I’m not, I don’t think I’m naturally a teacher, but I’m naturally a sharer.

Sarah Riley: Sounds a little bit like me. If, if I’ve got something to share and people are willing to listen, I’ll just teach it . Exactly. I don’t even have to be paid for it. I’ll just, I’ll just teach it. Exactly. I feel so drawn to do it. And I think a lot of people do feel drawn and it is often that lack of confidence that holds them back. Yeah. Whereas actually they’re, they’re perfectly good. And, and I think we fail to, think about the fact that the people coming to retreats, they want to learn a little bit of something, but ultimately they want to retreat, they want to relax, they want to unwind distress and all of those things. And and you don’t need to teach people to do that. They just, that happens naturally around the experience that you build for them, whatever experience you’re going to build.

Laura: Yeah.

Sarah Riley: So when you’ve built your experience and, and how you’ve thought about your itinerary and your day of what you’re gonna be offering at your retreat, how has that been for you Has that been quite smooth sailing Has it naturally fallen into place

Laura: No, it wasn’t smooth sailing . I mean, I, I think it obsessed my every minute since the moment I decided to do it. And so it was a lot of nighttime thinking. A lot of, I’m naturally quite sort of scatty and my ideas are all, you know, they’re all around in my head. So it takes me a long time to get all of that down into a very organized, schedule. But, yeah, lots and lots of, of sleepless nights thinking about it. But all pleasure, all enjoyable, sleepless nights thinking about, everything we were going to do. But, but I had a vision and I had a plan and I just tried to make as much of a notebook as I could with all my ideas. And then just tried to organize them into categories. And we got it all in. We fitted everything in.

Sarah Riley: So in that whole process, was there ever a time when you felt, do you know, I’m just not gonna do this. I’m, I’m just gonna stop. Mm. I’m just gonna give up because that sounds like it. You obviously, you, you were enjoying the process and you were very passionate about it. But it, it sounds like a lot. Were you worried Mm-Hmm. ,

Laura: Yeah. It was a lot. And there was a moment, and I think maybe that was shared with you on one of your training days, where I realized that maybe I’d not given myself enough time. And, and at one point I did think, maybe I’m not gonna go ahead ’cause I’m not sure I’m ready. and I’m really glad I didn’t because I realized that I, I probably was ready. I just panicked. ’cause I had all, ’cause I had so much, and I had, I had so much going on in my head and I had so much going on in my notebook. And I, I I, for a minute, I just, I, I thought maybe it was all too much and that I wasn’t gonna be able to put it all together in a very organized fashion. But, but yes, with your encouragement,

Sarah Riley: it’s, thank you. I’m really pleased I was part of that process. But I, I have to say, it’s not something that I don’t hear. I hear it often and it’s when it, it is like professional growth and personal growth. And when both, both of those things are happening, you are stepping outside of your comfort zone. You are stepping into something new, something different. And when you step outside of your comfort zone, we know that there is this prehistoric part of our brain, the way it works, that says, no, stay in the safe zone. Stay back there in the safe. Don’t, don’t go into that zone of discomfort. Stay where it’s safe. So every part of your body just wants to pull you back from doing that thing that is new and just stop. So if you had said to me, no, no, it was fine. I didn’t have any problem at all, , then I would come go, Hmm. Not sure , whether you’re telling me the truth there. Everybody has it. And, and it’s kind of is part of that experience and it will also be part of the reward because if it’s not hard, everyone would be doing it. And if it’s not slightly difficult, then it wouldn’t feel so great when you managed to get it done. So I suppose then the next thing I need to ask is, what helped you the most through that whole process

Laura: I think, I think it was the people. So everybody that supported me, my family, my husband, Claire, the other pe the other people that that kind of came on the journey with me all, all told me I could do it. They all, they all encouraged me. They all said, no, just you can do it. You are, they told me I was amazing. They told me that I could, that I could do it. It. And I’m not sure I believed them, but they, yeah, they held my hand. They all held my hand and we did it together. Yeah.

Sarah Riley: Yeah. So have you actually run your event yet

Laura: We just finished it Sunday afternoon. Oh,

Sarah Riley: Wonderful. Wonderful.

Laura: It went absolutely beautifully.

Sarah Riley: Oh, fantastic. Oh, I’m so pleased for you. That’s incredible news. So let’s start from the beginning. so how many spaces did you have and did you manage to sell out

Laura: So we had, I had fixed 15 places. we sold 10 and I’m glad that we only sold the 10 because with the weather being so awful, our rainy day, our rainy day places really were perfect for the amount, for the amount of people that we had. And I think, it was the, just the right number to make it really special and intimate. Much more than 12 probably would’ve been too many. So although I didn’t quite sell all the tickets, I think I’m pretty glad that I didn’t, I’m, if I were to do it again, I think I would probably stick to 10, 12 at the max anyways. Hmm. Because it really was a really, really lovely number.

Sarah Riley: Mm, wonderful. So how many, days and nights did that cover

Laura: So, they came on Friday afternoon and left on Sunday afternoon, two

Sarah Riley: Nights. Oh, wonderful.

Laura: Two nights and a couple of good days. . It really was. Yeah.

Sarah Riley: So tell me about the days. How did you set the days up

Laura: So Friday. Friday we took it quite easily. We had a nice slow afternoon of welcoming. We had a lovely welcoming circle. and Claire did started with some, some breath work and central oils and got everybody really relaxed and you know, and we really took our time to settle into the space. and then, and then started with a really nice, welcoming dinner. we went straight into yoga after that on Friday evening, so nice, slow bedtime yoga. and then, got people to bed early, up super early on Saturday off for bird walks. And and then we had a three hour forest bathing experience with Tanzi Doman and then another, another lovely lunch. And the food was quite highlight. So, you know, everyone was really, really present at the, at the meals. It was really, really nice. And then, Saturday afternoon, I thought, I’m already forgetting. It’s just such a blur . Saturday afternoon we did some art, and some just some sort of rest time. People really took the time to sort of just chill around the campfire. we did some water colors.

Laura: Saturday evening, we did more yoga and a beautiful cacao ceremony. and everyone started to really sort of let go and there was some emotion, another wonderful meal Sunday morning, more yoga. I don’t think anyone wanted to stop with yoga, it was just, yeah, it was just so nice. And Sunday we did some foraging, some herbal medicine workshop and then our farewell lunch, which was too soon. . Yeah.

Sarah Riley: Wonderful. So this was your first Yes. Your first

Laura: Retreat. It was, yeah, my first retreat.

Sarah Riley: So how has it made you feel, apart from, of course, genuine relief

Laura: Yes. Genuine relief. finally can sort of, take some time to look after myself, do a little bit tidying up, look after the house. but, super elated buzzing still ’cause it was, it was just so much more than I expected it to be. I wasn’t, I wasn’t ready for the fact that people were gonna get, were gonna be so bonded with each other that they were gonna feel so emotional about the letting go and the, the piece that they found here. I really wasn’t expecting it to be quite so deep, for everyone involved.

Sarah Riley: I think that’s part of how glamping goes so perfectly with retreats because it really is the atmosphere, the environment, the nature that allows people to have that space to really connect with what you’re offering at the retreat in terms of, you know, letting go, yoga, meditation, whatever it is. It really kind of adds another level of deepness to the experience.

Laura: Yeah. And our, our our accommodation really lends itself as well. ’cause the, ’cause the cabins that we have are sort of in the middle of the Bluebell words and they’re all very natural and off grid and relaxing. And I’ve tried to, I’m quite obsessed with biophilia, so I’ve tried to make sure that the cabins really feel that they’re part of nature themselves. And, and so the whole, the whole ex yeah, the whole experience that we have created with the glamping site really, really helps to have that sort of a hundred percent feeling of, of relaxation and feeling in nature.

Sarah Riley: Mm-Hmm. And it, it really is in the design, isn’t it Your service and, how it impacts the guest. And you said there that you’ve, designed it in a biophilic way. tell me a few things that you’ve done to, to, to help with that, because I find that fascinating as well.

Laura: So, well it’s a lot in, it’s a lot in the colors I’ve done. I’ve got a little bit of a background in design and interior design, so a lot of it’s in the colors. I’ve got a lot of green and, and, we have floors made out cordwood and a lot of the buildings are made out of the trees from the woods. So a lot of it is really created from the land upwards. So, yeah,

Sarah Riley: It’s really interesting that even the outside areas, I’m sure you’ve designed those two, to, you know, to, to have seating areas which feel like they’re part of the local space and the local nature. Mm-Hmm. Floor and fauna. Mm-Hmm. so when you almost feel, so when you go to a hotel and you’ve got these perfectly designed seating areas and it was all very plush and very lovely and amazing, but you do feel that you are a step away from nature even though you are in nature. And so again, that’s what I love about glamping sites is they so often have that element of comfort. But you are still in nature, you are still connected. Yeah.

Laura: Yeah. So we have a lot, some of the cabins, they have like 360 windows and, and like you say, the outdoor spaces, they all have a beautiful view out to, you know, they’re all very, they’re all very in, in it. And, and, and when you are, even when you are inside, the windows are looking out into the best bits. The campfires are all set in nice little bits of garden. And we really work hard on making the gardens feel gorgeous and natural. Mm-Hmm,

Sarah Riley: So when you run retreats and when you operate as just a glamping site, would you say that they are very different in how it makes you feel to run both Or are there elements of the same thing

Laura: I think it’s very similar. It, it feels really good to me. I’ve always loved to sort of host, so it feels, I always used to, when I was working in tourism and I used to work in tourism in France and people used to say, what, you know, what do you like about it I think it was that sort of, when people come go on holiday or when they come here for glamping or where they come here for a retreat, I’m kind of facilitating, if you like, or enabling them to have a nice time. So how, how much more rewarding than that can it be Really That’s the part I think that’s, that’s the, that’s the similarity when doing the glamping site or doing the retreat or any kind of tourism is that feeling of you are enabling people to be happy. Which is, which is great. It was different. I mean, the retreat was way more different than I expected because of that sort of, that connection with people, on a slightly different level than when they’re just on holiday. So it was, it was a little bit more important that we get it right and that they feel nurtured and cared for in a different way than when, when they’re just coming on holiday.

Sarah Riley: Mm mm And so did it give you more of a sense of satisfaction to do the retreats knowing that you’d had that much of a deep impact on people

Laura: Yeah. Yeah. Way more than I was expecting. And I think probably I will. So as soon as the retreat was over, I was straight back into, oh, I’m gonna do this. We’ve got a full site booked already this weekend and already I’m trying to draw things from the experience of the retreat to now I have this kind of renewed invigoration of, oh, I’m gonna try and help people to feel like this when they come. And, you know, and so it’s really, it’s really given me a sort of a renewed, enthusiasm for the, for the glamping weekends as well as having done that.

Sarah Riley: So your hospitality business, your, your business of offering accommodation is being enhanced by your new business of offering retreat events Is that what you’re saying

Laura: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Definitely. And I wasn’t expect, that wasn’t the plan. I wasn’t expecting that to happen. But in the couple days that have passed already, I’ve realized that it really has. Yeah. It’s a big, it’s a big thing. It’s a

Sarah Riley: Big thing. It’s really big thing. And, and I often talk to people about the ripple effect of events and retreats. Mm-Hmm. And, particularly when they’re hosted in a kind of a glamping environment. And part of that is because, you know, you as the host have now had this ripple effect of hosting this event. It’s impacted you, it’s impacted your guess and it’s now impacting your business. It’s like a ripple when you throw stone into a pond and all those ripples come out and they become bigger and bigger and there are many of them. Whereas you just threw one stone into the pond. Mm-Hmm. . It’s the same thing, isn’t it And I mean, I, I love that about my business. ’cause I know that if I can help people run their events, they then have, you know, a massive impact on people who attend those events. And then those people have an impact on people in their life. And so it’s this continuous ripple effect. Mm-Hmm. . So what I’m hearing from you is that you’ve experienced the ripple effect firsthand, and it’s going through your life and the people you’ve impacted and it’s now going through your business. And I think that’s fabulous. I love that.

Laura: I’ve already got feedback from people that are now passing it on. So they’ve sent a couple of pictures of themselves, you know, a couple of days later and doing some of the things that we’ve encouraged ’em to go home and do and, and with their children. And, you know, it’s really, it’s really a delight to see that it Yeah. Like you say, it will ripple on.

Sarah Riley: That’s amazing. You must feel real huge sense of reward from that and really, I’m sure that’s gonna keep your fire burning . Yeah. Much longer.

Sarah Riley: Yeah. It’s difficult, isn’t it Other hosts, it’s difficult to keep that level of passion and energy and motivation up, especially if you’ve been doing it for years and you’ve been doing it

Laura: Difficult times. Yeah.

Sarah Riley: Right. So you’ve been operating through all of the ups and downs of the recent years. So, so do you, would you say that it, it’s actually we kind of energized you as a human, as a business owner

Laura: Yeah, it’s, it’s, I think it will re verg energized, not just me, but de definitely the business as well. I think, it’s easy to sort of stagnate and you know, we’ve always, we’ve always had quite an ethos of, you know, every year we need to do something new and we need to add something and change something. But with, not the spring chicken that I was 20 years ago and you know, you get to a place where you start to think, oh, maybe we’ll just not change anything this year. Maybe we’ll just do it the same and, you know, slightly easier life we’re getting, you know, it’s getting a bit harder, but, but now I suddenly feel all excited again, so yeah.

Sarah Riley: Oh, that’s wonderful. I’m so pleased. Think about

Laura: What’s next, .

Sarah Riley: So in terms of what is next, what’s next for you Are you gonna be doing more of this So at the moment you’ve done a retreat event, you’ve done a singular event, you’ve decided that, you know, bits of it that you liked, what you didn’t like and, and everything else and what worked well and what didn’t work well. So are you now going to be growing your, individual retreat event into a retreat business

Laura: It looks like it . I wasn’t sure, I wasn’t sure on Friday, but , but now I’m, I mean I have, we have, with Claire, the lady that’s been encouraging me along, you know, or that we’ve been kind of working this thing through together. We already have a few day events lined up. So we’ve got a forage and feast. We’ve got, a couple of different event day events lined up already. So we’ll work on getting them promoted and making them work. And then I think, I think we’ll probably run an autumn one. So yeah, we might just go with the seasons and try and run an autumn one. Yeah. I don’t know yet. We’ll see how the, the day ones go, but I’m, yeah, I’m pretty keen on doing it again.

Sarah Riley: I think it, these things often come intuitively, you kind of start feeling what the right thing is to do. And I very much feel up with this, especially in changing seasons when the season’s changing and the site is changing and, and nature’s changing and it kind of almost feels like right now’s the time to get people in and to do this special event around this particular issue or thought or plan or new approach to, you know, life recovering or Yeah, life hibernating, waking up and re re-energizing or whatever it might be at that time in, in the year.

Laura: In the year. Mm-Hmm.

Sarah Riley: it’s fascinating. It’s brilliant. So imagine yourself in a year’s time. What are you hoping for

Laura: Oh, I haven’t thought that. Oh, I dunno. , I’m, I’m sure I’ll come up with another fantasy and carry it through. I like to, you know, have a bit of surprise and fantasy. So, you know, hopefully I’ll just keep being fantastical and think of new things and it will just keep growing and changing and I don’t wanna keep doing the same thing. So, although we’ll probably we’ll probably try and make the retreats a little bit of a regular thing. I’m sure I’ll have conjured up something else to be doing as well.

Sarah Riley: Well, you are obviously not scared of change, but as a lot of people who are scared of change, but it sounds to me like you hunt out change and needs change.

Laura: I’m Aquarius

Sarah Riley: Fantastic. So if you had to do it all again in terms of your retreat event, if you had to do it all again, what would you do first to have the most impact fast

Laura: I would probably, give myself more time. so if I could go back, I would probably not have done it in April. I probably would’ve thought of doing it for more the September. although that seemed like such a long, long way away, but I think probably more time would’ve been sensible, which I think was your, your training definitely encouraged that. But that was already too late . But, yeah, I would take more time. and what else I don’t know. yeah, I, the messaging, the messaging, making sure that I got my, my messaging right and that I had my socials more organized and that I did a little bit more training, I think instead of just thinking I could just wing it.

Sarah Riley: Yeah. Well, you know, we don’t know what we don’t know until we know it. I mean, that’s so often the case, isn’t it But hopefully if someone is listening to this and they’re thinking about that, I mean, the messaging is key to, to be able to get people to attend. And I would say that from my experience, if you are not getting, and this wasn’t the case for you at all, but if someone isn’t getting the number of people in to their retreat that they want, then it’s ’cause the messaging’s not right. It’s not because they’re not offering a great service. Mm-Hmm. . It’s not because people don’t wanna come, it’s because the messaging isn’t right. And that’s so easy to get right if you know the steps and the code and the process and everything else. Mm-Hmm. And it’s about helping people to realize that, that if they have tried to run a retreat and they haven’t quite got it right, it hasn’t quite hit the nail on the head, then it’s easy to fix with messaging. Yeah. Yeah. And and that’s why, as you were saying, you need time to be able to do this and go through these steps to trial something, to test it and then to figure out what works and what doesn’t. And then to run with the thing that works. Yeah. But you can’t do that in five minutes, can you You’ve gotta be able to have the time to generate that. Yeah. And once it’s done, it’s like a, it’s like a set and forget thing, isn’t it Once it’s done, you’ve you’ve done it. Yeah.

Laura: That part was totally rushed, but I definitely noticed as soon as I started changing the messaging, or as soon as I started focusing and targeting the messaging, I really noticed a difference in the people that were engaging. Mm

Sarah Riley: Mm Did you use my, process for testing, your idea Or did you not have time for that Did you run out of time

Laura: I ran out. I, yeah, I’m not very good at that part that, getting feedback from people, talking to people saying, what do you know I’m not very good at that. I tend to sort of, oh, don’t, don’t talk. Don’t wanna ask, don’t

Laura: But, yeah. And ’cause I was short on time so I I went straight out there and did it. But, yeah, that definitely would’ve been, that definitely would’ve been a help. Mm-Hmm. But, but I managed it without it. Yeah.

Sarah Riley: But the great thing is that, a lot of people they find when they test something, they test an idea. It’s almost more reassuring to the, to the person, to the host of the events to kind of feel reassured that that’s going to work. I’ve got the messaging right because I’m getting that response. Mm-Hmm. And so you obviously didn’t feel that you needed that, thankfully. And so, well

Laura: I was testing in real time Yeah.

Sarah Riley: Testing in real time. Absolutely. But you’ve obviously got it right. So you, you’ve obviously thought through the steps to getting your messaging right. You got it right and therefore you managed to get that number of bookings and I mean, that’s a really good booking rate for your first event. Yeah. For the first time.

Sarah Riley: did really, really well. So next time you’re obviously gonna reduce your numbers a bit or you’re going to change ways. Yeah,

Laura: I think I’ll keep it, I think it, I’ll keep it around 10

Sarah Riley: Mm. And will you change the number of days that you run it over Will you have it maybe midweek or is it still always gonna be a weekend for you Well, that’s

Laura: A tricky one because, because we get, so full weekends we don’t have a massive car parking space, so I wouldn’t be able to run it alongside the glamping. So I’d have to block a weekend, during the high season to do it. And I don’t have any weekends left where I have no people. I have one weekend through the whole season where I’ve got no bookings, if at all. So, so I’m having to run it outside of the season.

Sarah Riley: Mm-Hmm. So in terms of where people can find out more about you and your business, share a little bit about your, website, your website address, and how people can get in touch.

Laura: Oh, so, it, so our website is, well summer, it’s one L in well summer, that’s a big, and then we have, the same, well summer camping on Instagram, well summer camping on Facebook. the events go up on Eventbrite. but well, summer is our, is our main port of call.

Sarah Riley: So when you promoted your retreat, did you find that a lot of your customers were, repeat custom from your glamping site Or did you find they were completely new, you found them through other means Completely

Laura: New set of people complete, which, which I wasn’t expect, I was expecting to draw in more people from our existing customer base. ’cause they’ve got a fairly decent emailing list, but not a single one took it on there. I think possibly they’re happy enough coming to the campsite for their, for their thing. and so it was mainly, I, my messaging went out for the most part on Instagram. But I think for the most part it was Facebook.

Laura: Yeah. Which I hadn’t been using for a while, which was interesting ’cause I had a good following on Facebook but wasn’t really using it. But then, then I pulled myself back into Facebook and that’s where I pulled in the most of the interest.

Sarah Riley: Hmm, interesting. So it is so interesting when you have a look behind the scenes of, sites and, where they’re getting their traffic from and where they’re getting their interest from. You can do that. There’s so many different tools that can help you do that. So often I hear exactly the same from owners who say, you know, I’ve got a decent following on Facebook. I haven’t really been doing much on there, but actually I got a lot of bookings from Facebook and it often happens and that people put a lot of their time into Instagram and yet they don’t get so many bookings from there at all. Not with every business. Obviously businesses are different, but I do hear that a lot from a lot of people in the glamping industry. So that’s really interesting. You said exactly the same thing, ,

Laura: I don’t know if it’s an age group or, I don’t know. I enjoy Instagram more ’cause it’s very visual for me. Visual is really important. So I do sort of cross post.

Sarah Riley: Mm mm Oh, that’s interesting stuff. So. Well that’s, so thank you so much for taking a bit of time with me today. It’s been really great to speak with you. I’m excited about your future in retreats and where you’re gonna be taking this next. And tell me what you think the next retreat event will be based on. What topic Will it be the same topic

Laura: I think it will be the, I think it will be the, it’s nature. It’s gotta be nature connection every time for me. so I think it’ll probably be an autumn retreat, but we might do a little bit more art.

Sarah Riley: Wonderful. Oh, well, I, I absolutely wish you all the best of luck with that and I really can’t wait to hear more about your successful business. And I encourage anyone who’s listening to go and check out your website. So thank you for your time today.

Laura: Thank you so much. Thanks for listening to me, Sarah. Oh,

Sarah Riley: It was wonderful to see you in the flesh today. And really the best of luck with your retreats. I think it’s great that you took action and you made it happen. And, and the thing is, you see, you took part in my training. Yeah. And so did many others on that training. And it’s not everyone on that training that will actually take the action and make it happen. And you did. So I have to congratulate you for that. Well, thank you. Oh, well, it’s fantastic and look forward to hearing more from you in the future. So you take care. Cool. Good luck. Thanks, Sarah. Bye. Bye. Bye. Thanks.

Inspired Camping

glamping business plan course

Leave a comment: