Create Live or Virtual Retreats That Sell

Plan, promote and profit from meaningful events


Allison K Williams


Live on Saturday, Feb. 4, or watch the recording


Anyone who wants to host their first retreat, or improve an existing offering


Closed captions by Otter; transcript provided with recording

Running a retreat is a big commitment and a lot of planning. When it goes well, you’ve got happy guests, enjoyable time in a fabulous location—and substantial profits. But great retreats have plenty of moving parts and require a big commitment from your guests. Failure costs time and money. If only there was a way to sell out every time!

Allison K Williams leads sold-out travel retreats in gorgeous locations around the world, including Italy, Portugal and Costa Rica, and virtual writing retreats and intensives. Her “who wants to come?” strategy means filling the guest list before even building the website. In this webinar, she’ll share her step-by-step process for testing your concept and location, finding your true audience, and building your own confidence as a not-at-all-cheesy salesperson. You’ll learn how to sell every spot long before that hotel deposit is due—and the planning and budgeting that let you take home a well-deserved five-figure profit.

By clearly defining your concept, structure, and most powerful selling points, you’ll learn whether to go live or virtual, how many days to run, what to charge—and how to attract the guests who will benefit most from an experience that matters.

This session runs for four hours total (that includes a 30-minute break midway) and plenty of time for questions. You’ll also take home budget and planning sheets to develop and refine your own retreats.

What our time together will look like (Eastern Time):

  • 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Presentation by Allison
  • 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.: Lunch break
  • 2:00 p.m to 3:30 p.m.: Presentation by Allison
  • 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Additional Q&A time and/or breakout room networking

This workshop will cover:

  • Features vs Benefits—what’s in it for THEM?
  • Fair pricing—and fair profits
  • The most important characteristic of a great retreat location
  • The vital budget line almost everyone forgets (you’re in trouble without this!)
  • What key elements of location, topic or teacher to feature in your marketing
  • Making the most of your credentials—even if you don’t have many!
  • Itinerary planning—what ELSE are you going to offer?
  • Creating a webpage that converts (and the four elements your site MUST have)
  • Finding your audience and finding out what they want
  • How to sell out your event before paying the venue deposit (tip: it’s ATTITUDE that sells your retreat!)
  • How to pick the right guests
  • Timelines for marketing and planning (and how to fill last-minute cancellations)
  • Getting great testimonials without embarrassment
  • Working with partner organizations & co-teachers (or hiring one for your “committed friends” retreat)
  • How to carefully support dietary and other special needs
  • Strategies for handling difficult guests
  • Transcendence: the secret sauce of great retreats means making every participant feel special—and like they got their money’s worth

Who should take this class

  • Teachers with a following and/or an idea for a larger event who need a solid plan
  • Coaches and editors who’d like to work beyond one-on-one and reach the next level
  • Retreat leaders whose events aren’t selling out—or selling at all
  • Retreat leaders who’d like to expand from local to international, or one-off webinars to a longer program
  • Self-help and business development authors & speakers who want to provide a powerful, focused experience for their core audience
  • Writers, artists, yogis and collectives planning a “friend” retreat who want everyone to still be friends afterward

Note: While Allison leads writing-focused retreats, we’re looking at concept, planning, marketing and structure rather than daily content or teaching methods. This webinar will be appropriate for those who wish to center their events on writing, yoga, mind/body/spirit, visual/performing arts, business development or self-improvement.

Who should not take this class

  • We will NOT cover digital course delivery systems (like Kajabi) or on-demand technology. However, the marketing, audience and budgeting information can be applied to planning live/virtual courses, and we will talk about effective Zoom teaching and payment systems.

Supplemental materials all students receive

  • Budget planning sheet for your retreat
  • Marketing and planning timelines for your retreat
  • Sample food preferences and medical info forms to copy/change as you like
  • Sample terms & conditions for protecting yourself and your business from liability and cancellation issues
  • Sample contract to use for hiring additional teachers

Looking for additional guidance? Consider the premium level ($579 total) – 4 seats left

A total of eight seats are available for retreat leaders who want to meet for an additional three hours as part of a live group coaching session the next day.

Premium group session on Sunday, Feb. 5, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern

  • We’ll review and discuss your individual retreat plans or ideas, and give feedback on your event or concept 
  • Recommendations on tools, topics, locations and retreat styles for each participant
  • “Hot seat” time with the group to define and discuss your audience and platform, your marketing strategy, and if desired, budget and pricing 
  • Additional Q&A time for all your questions that came up overnight
  • Networking with fellow retreat leaders for connections and support

What’s included in all of Jane’s classes

How do I attend the live class?

This class uses Zoom webinar technology (see system requirements). You will join through your Internet-connected computer or mobile device. When you register, you will receive information via email on how to join the class. If you don’t receive it within 1 hour of registering, please contact us.

  • When: Saturday, Feb. 4
  • Time: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern / 9:00 a.m. Pacific (there will be a 30-minute break)
  • Registration fee: $279 ($579 for premium)

The webinar is broadcasted via the internet with live audio delivered through your computer or mobile device speakers. The visual presentation is displayed directly from the presenter’s computer to your computer screen. The Q&A is managed through a chat-style submission system with questions read and answered by the presenter for the entire class to hear.

Closed captions are provided during the live class. We use Zoom’s automated closed caption service (powered by Otter), which is about 80%+ accurate. We also use Otter AI to generate an unedited transcript, provided with the recording.

About the instructor

Allison K Williams leads sold-out retreats in Costa Rica, Portugal, Italy, USA and virtually, and offers bespoke retreats around the world for writing groups. Her virtual intensives with Dinty W. Moore have served 250+ writers since 2020.

Author of Seven Drafts: Self-Edit Like a Pro from Blank Page to Book, Allison has edited and coached writers to publishing deals with Penguin Random House, Knopf, Mantle, Spencer Hill, and St. Martin’s Press as well as hybrid and independent presses. She’s guided essayists and humorists to publication in media including the New Yorker, Time, the Guardian, the New York Times, McSweeney’s, Refinery29, Hippocampus, the Belladonna and TED Talks. As Social Media Editor for Brevity, she inspires thousands of writers with weekly blogs on craft and the writing life.

Allison holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University and spent 20 years as a circus aerialist and acrobat before writing and editing full-time.

Testimonials from Allison’s Rebirth Your Book in Tuscany

It is no exaggeration to say that my writing retreat with Allison Williams was life changing. I arrived with a memoir manuscript and a work plan created with Allison so I was able to dig in right away. Days were spent in community with other writers, working, eating, chatting and relaxing surrounded by gorgeous views. And as a result of my manuscript revision, an agent who had given me a “Revise and Resubmit” with my earlier query offered to represent me!

Karen Fine, The Other Family Doctor (Penguin Random House)

Allison’s attention to detail on your manuscript and her encouragement tempered with “real talk” is reason enough to attend a Rebirth Your Book retreat. She may call herself “The Unkind Editor,” but you will get to know her as a sincere, caring person, a gifted coach, not to mention a master of logistics. Food preferences, travel arrangements and group or individual activities are attended to with efficiency and a smile, allowing a participant’s energies to be put into writing, making new friends, exploring new places. Attending this retreat challenged my intellect, energized my writing muscles and nourished my spirit as well as my body!

Trish Deveneau

An amazing experience. The detail, thought and care that went into planning and carrying off this retreat was extraordinary – I’ve never seen anything like it. Somehow the eight days was both a safe place for writing and a vacation as well as bonding with like-minded individuals.

April Boyington Wall

All students receive the following

  • Access to the live class. The session is 4 hours long, which includes a 30-minute break. Allison will take questions during class using in-class chat/text. If we can’t get to all of the questions live, Allison will answer them in writing and you’ll receive the answers with the recording.
  • A recording of the class—audio and video. This is especially helpful if you have a conflict with the class time or something comes up and you can’t make the session. Each registration comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for six months. You do not have to attend the live event to access the recordings.
  • Presentation slides. All participants receive the slide presentations in PDF form.
  • Rough transcript. We use Otter to create an automated transcript of the entire webinar, which we’ll share with you in addition to the audio and video recording.
  • Additional materials from Allison, as described above

Event Attendance & Anti-Harassment Policy

We strive to provide an environment where all present—whether attendee, presenter, or staff—can feel supported. In order to ensure a welcoming event, here is what we expect from all who participate.

  • That the presenter and the presenter’s work be treated with respect by attendees and that all attendees treat each other with respect and a generosity of spirit.
  • That attendees will refrain from harassment of any sort including (but not limited to) comments or questions of a racist, homophobic, sexist/sexual, or threatening nature. This includes actions that disrupt or interfere with anyone’s ability to participate. Offenders will be disconnected from the live event.