Registration is a great task for your type-A girls.
You need someone who is detail oriented to oversee your retreat registrations.
There are two sides to address in respects to registration – the collecting and the processing. Two different women could oversee each piece. Keep in mind they’ll need to communicate with each other well.
Your registration will run smoothly as long as you have a game plan in place.
Retreat Registration Tips:
1. Collect a deposit. You want your deposit to be substantial enough that they won’t be likely to back out. Depending on your retreat location and their policies, you’ll need to decide if that deposit is non-refundable, transferable, or refundable. Make sure your women know.
2. Collect the complete payment at least one week before you have to submit your final headcount.
3. Set up a registration table or station at your church for 3 weeks. If your church offers addition service times beyond Sunday morning, make sure you cover those too!
4. Assemble a registration team.
5. Train your registration team so they know how to process every registration. Be very clear about how the money is to be handled and turned in.
6. Include an overview of the schedule for the weekend. Women will need to know when to arrive, what time the retreat will end, if they have free time, etc.
7. Offer online registration and payment if possible.
8. List the speaker if it is someone from outside of your church. You can list the speaker(s) if it’s one of your own ladies, but you don’t have to. Your ladies may want to visit the speaker’s website, read one of her books, follow her on Instagram, etc.
9. Include a description of the weekend. This is your chance to sell it! Tell them why they should come and what they’ll experience.
10. Offer rooming options and separate pricing if possible. Some women will pay extra for a room to themselves. Other women are happy to share queen-size or even double beds and bunk 3-4 to a room if it means paying less. Put the responsibility of filling those rooms on your attendees. Let them know they’ll need to sign up together.
11. Don’t begin registration until you have your publicity materials together. You want everything including your registration form to have the same look – font, graphics, colors, etc.
It’s not just your church! Women typically wait until the last minute to register. Try to offer grace when you can.
Plan expecting women to turn in their registrations late. Create a buffer between your dates and the dates your retreat location has set so you can be flexible if needed.
What information should you collect on your registration forms?
- Full name
- Email address
- Phone number – home and cell
- Roommate preference
- T-shirt size if needed
- Method of payment – cash, check, or online
- Amount of payment – some may pay just the deposit, others may pay in full, and some may contribute to the scholarship fund.
- If beds will need to be shared, give women a place to volunteer to share a bed and let them know what size the bed will be.
- A place to note special diet information.
You may also want to ask:
- For volunteers to help at the retreat – small group leaders, prayer warriors, decorations, greeters.
- If it is their first retreat with your church.
- If they need a ride.
- If there are willing to drive a carpool. See below.
- Workshop choice if you are offering workshops. You can do this later if you don’t have that piece ready yet.
A thought on carpools…many retreats I’ve led and attended have offered to connect women needing a ride with those willing to drive. Arranging carpools can become a logistical nightmare. If someone really needs a ride and doesn’t have any friends to ask, she will let you know. You don’t need to keep up with everybody’s travel plans.
I thought it might be helpful for you to see a couple of our past registration forms.
Click to open the free PDF files:
Usually we begin registering women about 3 months before the trip.
We set up the retreat registration tables at church for those 3 weeks before that initial deposit is due.
What other questions do you have about retreat registration forms?