How to Get The Most Out of Your Retreat, Plus, 12 Things You Want on Your Packing List

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Are you joining us for Inspire 2017? Or perhaps you're attending a different workshop or retreat? Read on for our tips on how to get the most out of your time at a retreat or workshop. It’s a perfect time of year to add to your business toolbox, so if you haven’t registered for Inspire yet, there is still time to save yourself a spot!

Be Open to Surprises You’ll find a lot of serendipitous surprises if you’re open to them - you may meet someone who has very similar business challenges to you, or you may meet someone who can finally help you reduce the difficulty that you have with one aspect of managing your business. If you prime yourself mentally, you’ll be ready for these fortuitous connections.

Set Goals You'll also get more out of the content of the retreat if you do a little pre-retreat homework. We recommend a journal entry where you explore these three questions:

  1. What is one burning question that I have?
  2. What is the biggest challenge that I'm facing in my business and my work as an artist?
  3. What is one goal that I have for my business? 

Be prepared to share some of your thoughts about these questions with your fellow attendees. We encourage you to set aside a few quiet moments each day to revisit your goals and track your progress.

Cheer Your Peers At Inspire we are firm advocates of peer-to-peer mentoring, so we also want to emphasize that you can help others have a better retreat experience by asking them these same questions. “What is a goal that you have while you’re here?” is a great 'getting-to-know-you' question for someone you're meeting for the first time at our retreat.

Bring a Positive Attitude This may be the most important factor in getting the most out of your retreat. … after all, this is part of why you are here! The more you reach the more you’ll get out of a conference or retreat. 

In this caffeinated world, I’m always sure to travel with herbal tea bags!
— Kim

Creature Comforts When is the last time you spent 4 nights in a hotel room? What creature comforts from home did you miss that would have made your stay more comfortable? We asked our Inspire community for their list and here is what they told us:

  • Electric Water Kettle:  "It takes up room in my luggage but it makes all the difference to be able to make coffee just the way I like it in my room."
  • "I bring my own towel. The bleached linens do a number on my sensitive ginger skin!”
  • Herbal Tea: “I quit caffeine a few years ago, so in this caffeinated world, I'm always sure to travel with herbal tea bags!”
  • Multi Outlet Extension: “So I can charge laptop, phone, watch, etc at the same time wherever I want in the room”
  • Water Bottle “it’s hard to stay hydrated in a hotel!”
  • Notebook and pen "It's kinder to fellow attendees than sitting there with a bright screen which can be super distracting. I’m also more focused when I write in a notebook than when I use a laptop"
  • Cold Medicine “and ibuprofen/tylenol too… late nights + dry hotel environment + travel are a perfect storm for a winter cold”
  • Mini-Humidifier: “Why be miserable when I’m staying in nice hotel for several nights?"
  • A Water Glass “I hate using the glasses in hotel rooms, so I bring my own!”
  • Pillow “nothing says home like my own pillow!"
  • Packets of Oatmeal “a yummy hearty breakfast in my own room helps get the day started”
  • Cash “Lots of $1 bills for tips to hotel staff, and bar tips. Also, some conference venues only offer a cash bar, so don’t forget to bring bring cash for your beverage purchases."

We're counting the days till we get to check into our cozy hotel rooms in Newport and reconnect with the Inspire community... If you have anything to add to this list, write it in the comments below! 

There's still space to join the 2017 Inspire Photo Retreat. REGISTER HERE