Make a Reservation!
Here are some helpful suggestions, and advice gleaned from our years of service. By following this guide, and answering many of the questions, you will help insure a smooth and meaningful program, that will accomplish what you desire. The secret is to work in a timely pace, and keep the staff at Saint Christopher informed. If at any time you have questions, please contact us. We want your program to be a success and are here to help.
1. Why Are You Planning this Conference, Retreat, or Program?
Conferences, retreats, and programs are intentional events, held to focus on issues and questions through discussion and dialogue with others, in order to reach a clearer sense of direction.
They use the resources and power of shared experiences and can help focus the energy of a group, whether your purpose is planning, solving problems, building a team, spiritual renewal, faith formation, or exploring a shared topic of interest.
They require a place and pace that is unhurried and conducive to meaningful discussion and work. The good news is that St. Christopher is such a place.
2. Who Should Attend?
Is your gathering for members of your group only? For members of your group and their invited guests? For members of other organizations (churches, boards, companies)?
Budget for a good balance (always charge a little extra to cover unexpected costs. It is often better to add a little extra cost for most participants and provide scholarships for those in need.
Tip: People attend what they help to plan, so if you’re looking to reach a larger audience than your group, invite others to help you plan. Don’t just invite them when all your planning is done!
3. When Will You Meet?
Make certain to check calendars, schedules, and other events that could affect the attendance of your intended audience. Consider major holidays and events in your planning.
- Is a weekend or weekday schedule best?
- Does the time of year matter?
- Consider the time you ask people to be away from their jobs families.
- Are you on a timetable?
Check for availability by calling St. Christopher (843.768.0429) to reserve your dates and spaces. We suggest that you project low in the participants you expect. There is almost always extra space, and you don’t want to reserve unused spaces.
4. What Do You Need for a Successful Conference?
Come and visit our campus and meet our staff. See the different types of facilities we have available, and let us help you plan for what will best meet your needs.
Consider whether you will need space for large groups and breakout sessions. Identify what you require in facilities before you make a reservation.
Event Planning Timetable
6-12 Months Ahead
- Confirm space and reservations.
- Make certain you have paid the deposit.
- Develop plans to market your event. You might want to publish and announce dates so people can hold the dates.
- The best marketing involves personal contact. If possible, have each member of your team plan personal contact with potential guests.
- Develop contingency plans for programs, just in case.
- Plan for transportation.
- Plan for health and safety concerns.
- Develop a budget and fee schedule.
- Develop a schedule for your event. Is it reasonable and flexible enough?
- Will there be any special policies or practices that guests need to know about?
3-4 Months Ahead
- Promote, Promote, Promote. Now is the time to send reservation forms and receive them in return.
- Have your guests make a financial commitment to you at the time of registration. We suggest at least one-third of the cost. This helps them to be serious about showing up.
- Send a copy of your brochures to us at St. Christopher to keep us informed.
- Assign any special tasks to your other leaders and staff. Make certain they have clear job expectations of what is needed and when.
- Check again with St. Christopher to confirm all arrangements.
- Keep in touch with us about any problems or questions.
1-2 Months Ahead
- Keep in touch with our staff so that we can help address last-minute details.
- We will send you a 30-day group packet of information. Complete and return the packet no later than 14 days before your arrival. This information provides us with your final guest count.