Pearl of Wisdom
I recommend giving all participants a feedback form that you collect before they leave the retreat, and once and a while doing a more in depth survey as well. This can inform your decisions going forward, and ensure that you’re hearing the voices of all instead of making changes based on what you’ve heard from the most vocal people in the group. A good example of this is regarding the length of our meditation sessions. At The Barn we do 40 min. meditation sessions, and during the course we sometimes hear people complaining that that is too long. However, when we have surveyed the whole group via a feedback form asking “Do you think the meditation schedule should a) be left at three 40 min. sessions per day, b) changed to two 40 min. sessions and one 30 min., or c) changed to be all 3o min. sessions?” we have found that 80% of participants said “Leave it at 40 min. Although I find it challenging I think it is good to push myself in that way”. This data was so useful in helping us to stick with our existing meditation schedule knowing that it suits the majority of our retreatants (even if it causes few complaints).