Below is a sample agenda from a previous retreat. Although all retreats include signature elements, such as first-rate accommodations, dining experiences, local activities and training sessions, the specifics of each retreat are specific to the destination and the attendees.
2-5PM Writers arrive to Breckenridge, Colorado
3:30PM Welcome to Breckenridge by lodging company and tourism office
6:30PM Travel to dinner
7PM Dinner at Ember with a representative from Breckenridge Ski Resort
Ember represents contemporary, romantic, and internationally inspired ingredients for an American palate. Elk, quail, striped bass, and lobster biscuits are just a few items to be seen on the menu. A gluten- free and kids’ menu are offered in this comfortable setting.
TUESDAY, May 22
8AM Breakfast provided at the house
9AM Hot Seat: What is your niche/brand?
This is a fun activity where everyone gets the other participants’ blogs and social media and check them out in advance. Each person has a turn on the “hot seat” where the rest of the group will tell them what they think their niche/personal brand is based on their content and how they’re presenting themselves online. It’s really powerful because often people are shocked at how scattered their online presence is in terms of not really defining their niche the way they thought they were.
10:30AM Workshop: Defining your niche and building a personal brand
I’m going to share my top tips for discovering your niche and using it to start establishing a personal brand that sets you apart from others in your industry.
11:30PM Break + walk to lunch
12PM Lunch at Giampietro’s
Fat biking tour to Breckenridge Distillery and Broken Compass. Discover the best points of interest and Breckenridge history as we casually roll through town on a high-performance carbon fiber fat bike. Once out of town the real adventure begins as we descend to our destinations on the scenic Blue River Rec Path.
5:30PM Activity: Tour at Breckenridge Distillery
6:30PM Dinner at Breckenridge Distillery (tasting dinner)
WEDNESDAY, May 23
9AM Workshop: Using Social Media to Grow Your Audience
This workshop is meant to build on participants’ current social media knowledge and discuss best practices, must-have third party apps and how to use them, share info on Twitter chats, Pinterest group boards, etc. with time for everyone to sit down with their laptop and start implementing some of the advice. The goal is to get everyone using social media more often and more effectively to promote their work.
10:30AM Workshop (con’t)
12PM Lunch at Grand Colorado on Peak 8 (lunch being catered in)
2PM Activity: Breck Create Hot Shop
Metalsmithing and Stacking Rings and Metal Things
One of the most popular studios in the Breckenridge Arts District, the Hot Shop accommodates “hot arts” like silversmithing, encaustic painting, and lampworking—the art of working glass rods behind a torch for small projects like marbles and beads. A new facility designed to be harmonious with the historic structures on campus, the Hot Shop takes up a small footprint, similar to other mining era buildings. Inside, the contemporary space is outfitted with hanging electrical outlets and state-of-the-art ventilation and lighting systems. There are special benches and an acetylene tank for silversmithing, an oxy-propane system and kiln for lampworking, and a hood for future glass-blowing. Local art instructors keep the studio hopping with a robust schedule of demonstrations and hands-on workshops, and visiting artists light it up on special occasions.
4-5:30PM Activity: Rocky Mountain Underground Mixology Class
Rocky Mountain Underground (RMU) doesn’t serve food but it is a ski shop combined with tavern (12 rotating craft beers plus wine and cocktails) and is very popular. Ski press inside, the tavern is attached to the ski shop and boasts a front deck and backyard area which gets its use in the summer complete with live music.
5:45PM Activity: Breckenridge Welcome Center
Behind the Swinging Doors Historic Saloon Tour
Those interested in the seedier side of Breckenridge history can knock one back on the saloon tour, which visits the Breckenridge Distillery tasting room between stories of the many local saloons the once operated here. Tour stops include establishments whose roots date back to the 19th century.
7:30PM Dinner: Cooking class at Colorado Mountain College (CMC)
THURSDAY, May 24
9:00AM Workshop: Pitching
This final workshop will be dedicated time for everyone to brainstorm story ideas from the trip, review pitches they may be sending to new outlets, share contacts, etc. We’ll be spending time with each person discussing which outlets they’re pitching, their story ideas, suggesting new outlets, reading draft pitches (if they need help), etc.