Meeting Planning Considerations for Religious Groups & Spiritual Events

Meeting Planning Considerations for Religious Groups & Spiritual Events

While planning a religious or spiritual group meeting can be a challenge, the personal rewards in setting the scene for a life-changing and uplifting event for the attendees are unsurpassed.  The best way to get started with your planning process (before contacting a hotel or conference center) is to consider a few factors so that your chosen meeting venue will be best able to meet your, and your organizations, goals.


Consider the overall purpose of your gathering. What do you want to have accomplished at the completion of the event?  Is it a meditative and spiritual event?  Is the event informational? Would a rural, suburban or urban location be best suited for the content and end objective?  Are there components in the program for needed breaks for the attendees?  If so, what activities should the venue plan to support? 


Think about, and gather feedback, regarding what worked well and what didn’t during previous events. Which sites have you used for previous meetings or retreats? Was it the right venue for your group? Was the pricing at the appropriate level for your attendees? What was the atmosphere of the previous place? Was the environment in tune with the goals of your event? Are there any pain points you wish to avoid in your next event? 

Registration Logistics

Controlling the registration and booking process will better allow you to avoid attrition to deliver on your room block commitments. Are you setting up a registration program that will enable your attendees to make reservations?  If they try to book a room outside the block, will there also be a price increase for the registration or will you mandate that they use the hotel block to attend?

Financial Obligations

Financial obligations are contained within hotel and conference center contracts; therefore it’s important to have a financial management plan for your religious group meeting. Who is underwriting the event?  Do you have the fallback finances if the program attendance and guest room usage is not as expected?  If you depend on covering all the contractual obligations by expected attendance alone, you would be exposed financially if for some reason registration is off. If this is a first-time event be cautious and conservative on your commitments.  If a central element of the meeting is a key topic or speaker, what will happen to your attendance if there is an unexpected programming change?

Program Content

Is the program well defined before contracting with the venue?  Without this information, you may be hard-pressed to understand your logistical needs for meeting space and audiovisual requirements within the meeting space you are contracting.  What would the ratio of attendance be for running simultaneous breakout sessions compared to determining the size of the breakout rooms? Once you have signed a contract, there is the chance the hotel may not be able to provide additional meeting space.  If you request more meeting space, the terms of the agreement could change due to the issue of the amount of meeting space you would require versus the size of the contracted block.  Hotels are very stingy with meeting space commitments which are all predicated on the total room block to meeting space ratios they have established to ensure profitable allocations.

For more information on booking events for Spiritual/Religious groups, please visit our Meetings Page.


The Asilomar Team

Asilomar Hotel & Conference Grounds, with over 105 years on the Monterey Peninsula, offers a unique setting that combines beautiful architecture, historic charm and a treasure trove of memories for our guests. With plenty of activities for people of different ages and interests - you will never have a dull moment here. With its windswept location on the California coast – Asilomar is exactly where you should be if you seek to disconnect and unplug from your everyday routine. In the spirit of Asilomar’s rich history, we’re excited to share our new blog adventure. Our Sales and Conference Services Team have created great content and helpful ideas regarding group business, travel, weddings, and Asilomar’s sustainability efforts.