The Virtual Reality of Retreat Experiencesadmin
These past two weekends have been quite the experience.
In fact, some might say it has been a watershed moment for us here at Ultimate 48 Hour Author.
Up until 2 weekends ago, our previous 28 retreats have been delivered as an in-person residential experience where people have flown in from all parts of Australia (and further abroad) to spend 48 hours with my and the team to get their books finished.
Over the past 5 years, we have seen laughter, tears, breakthroughs, connection, and everything in between at these retreats that really do change our attendees’ lives.
A few months ago, we were deep in planning mode for our May retreat when along came COVID-19 to show its ugly face and through our plans into chaos.
Event restrictions, travel bans, border closures, health risks, and lockdowns; not the ideal set of circumstances for those of us that run live events.
So, after 48 hrs. of uncertainty and despair, Stuart and I switched into solution focus mode and get to planning all over again.
In less than 24 hours, we had the framework for what was to become our very first Virtual online retreat and offer that we had to present to our 6 half-day Blueprint for Ultimate Book Writing Success seminars that we were delivering to our USA audiences in Late May, Early April.
In our brainstorming session, we decide what were our non-negotiables for the weekend retreat and how we could make those experiences work virtually.
We reverse-engineered every minute of our previous 28 retreats and started testing different aspects that would need tweaking to work just as well online.
Even though we were sure that the program we had put together was high value and going to be well received, we were blown away by the response from our USA half-day attendees and the number of people that jumped at the chance to be part of this very first Ultimate 48 hour Author Virtual retreat.
Within a few days, we had to open up a second virtual retreat in August to accommodate the numbers of new clients that engaged us to mentor them to write, publish, and leverage their first book.
One of the non-negotiables was the 90-minute prep session that all the new authors needed to complete with Stuart before the retreat where he taught them our Blueprint to bring their ideas into structured ordered and get stuck into their chapter unpacks.
We then moved their cover concept ideas onto our designer for him to create their mock-up book covers for their pre-launch campaigns on the Friday night of the retreat.
We met everyone online a week before the retreat and everyone got to say help to their fellow retreat attendees and even though we had people from all across the USA including Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, and New York the connection as a group started to form very quickly.
Another non-negotiable was the retreat structure that saw dedicated time for the seven teach segments and the writing hours and the accountability to the goals that our attendees set at the start of the retreat.
Being on Video was also a must.
Pre-launch campaigns were still initiated as a group on Friday night Happy Hour where we supported our authors as they announced to their family, friends, and online communities that they were not only writing their first book but taking orders of pre-sales.
There is nothing like the commitment to others that have now purchased their books to drive them through to completion.
Breakout rooms were created for individual mentoring sessions throughout the retreat where our authors could ask to meet one of our mentors in our Techy Help Room, Mindset Room, Content Help Room, etc. etc.
As each day wrapped up to the sounds of our retreats theme song playing, Stuart and I were left buzzing with the feedback that the attendees shared with us just a few minutes before our day wrapped up and we knew that what we had created was absolute gold, and something that would have never existed unless we were forced to look for a solution that COVID-19 presented us with.
When the retreat came to a close on the final day, our first USA retreat family was born and in a few short months, we will see 16 newly published authors launching their books worldwide with the support and guidance of their mentors from Downunder.
Four days later, we were back at it again this time hosting our Australian May retreat group and with a few minor tweaks from our previous weekend’s format, the experience and results were next level.
While our world post-COVID-19 may look very similar to that we believe normal looks like, and we will once again deliver our four live in-person residential retreats, we will continue to offer a virtual experience with an additional 4 retreats being added to our 2021 schedule to service our growing USA and Canadian clients as well as those Australia wide that circumstances don’t allow to attend a residential retreat.
This retreat is one component of our Ultimate 48 Hour Author mentoring program that sees you go from conceptual idea, or unstructured writing through ongoing mentoring, support, accountability, connection with fellow first-time authors and our team all the way through the publishing process which includes editing, layout, design and seeing you through to holding your first book in your hand.
Hear what some of our attendees shared about their Virtual retreat experience
If you want to discuss either of our two upcoming virtual retreats, follow the link to our Calendar to book a 30-minute Book Breakthrough Session to make your book a reality in 2020.
To your book writing success,