VIPiña Brand Retreat 2023 Recap

Hosting a brand retreat in Toledo, Spain has been on my ‘business bucket list’ for a long time!

While The Quirky Pineapple Studio is still a brand strategy and content marketing agency, I love that we also have the opportunity to build in experiential marketing and events for our community and clients.

For this experiential marketing experience, we decided to *finally* host a brand retreat for small business owners in the medieval city of Toledo – a week to network, brainstorm together, and work on honing in their brand messages and sustainable marketing strategies.

This was the first time we were hosting a retreat on our own, the last time we hosted a retreat, it was co-hosted with our friend, Andrea Valeria, of It’s a Travel O.D. in Cartagena, Colombia.

Here’s a lil’ recap of the brand retreat from my point of view (hi, this is Cassandra, the Founder of The Quirky Pineapple Studio)!

Want to learn how to host and market your own retreat for your brand? Check out our blog post on ‘What to plan in your event marketing strategy for your retreat’.

Message & Why for the VIPiña Brand Retreat

While I love the location-independent marketing agency we’ve built, I also know just how important real-life connections are in the world of online business.

This means meeting people face to face…

Having coffee with them in-person…

Spending quality time together to work on business and marketing goals…

While being virtual does give us more freedom, real in-person interactions can be the jumping point to business growth, new strategies, or reconsiderations. This is exactly the type of environment we wanted to create for retreat guests.

After three years of mostly online events, networking opportunities, and virtual coffees because of COVID-19, 2023 looked like it was finally going to be the year where we could ‘safely’ bring business owners together to explore a new city, spend intentional time building their brand message and marketing strategies, and network in-person.

The VIPiña Brand Retreat wasn’t just about brand messaging and marketing strategies, my vision was to bring our network, past and current clients, together to brainstorm and collaborate on business development ideas, brand awareness strategies, and talk about new marketing activities to explore. Personally, I think that’s where all the magic happens.

If you’re looking for a brand and marketing retreat to grow your personal brand and thought leadership, so you get more industry opportunities… we’re hosting the VIPiña Brand Retreat again in Toledo, Spain! Learn more about our May 2024 retreat and register your spot to join us in this medieval city to network, brainstorm, and grow your brand

Planning the Brand Retreat

Planning a week-long retreat requires more logistics than previous events and workshops we’ve hosted. Usually, past events and workshops have been ‘on the day’ events which required less logistical planning and resources.

Before working in marketing, I worked in Hospitality Management, specifically around events and tourism – so I used a lot of those skill sets and knowledge to plan a hybrid of work and play for our retreat guests!

Here’s what we planned for:

  • Transportation for guests
  • Lodging
  • Retreat itinerary (eg: what sessions we were going to have and the format of them)
  • Tourist activities so guests could enjoy the city
  • Timing for everything (we didn’t want it to be all about work, we also wanted play time)
  • Meals and dietary restrictions
  • Additional guest vendors
  • Managing client requests for our agency clients who were not attending the retreat

After we mapped out all the details for the retreat, it was time to budget and start confirming with our vendors. Shout out to our Admin & Operations Team for handling a lot of the reservations, budgeting, and scheduling to make sure that our guests were comfortable and everything was accounted for BEFORE they arrived!

Hosting the Brand Retreat

Hosting our week-long brand retreat for small business owners was… in 3 words:

  • EPIC

But of course, let me explain further.

It was such an amazing experience to welcome our retreat guests to Toledo, Spain for a week of brand and marketing strategy! We brought in a diverse group of event vendors, each bringing their unique outlook on their area of expertise, as well as pulling from the knowledge and experience of our guests.

During the week of the retreat, we had a detailed plan set out for workshop sessions, brainstorming, guided feedback, and even hot seats – paired with cultural and tourist activities so each guest could also experience Toledo from the eyes of a local.

I loved seeing our guests share new ideas, jump in with their expertise and experience, and fully immerse themselves in Toledo and disconnect from the ‘every day’ needs of the business.

Bring your community and audience together with experiential marketing! We’ve worked on brand activation campaigns, launch strategies, and planned workshops in English and Spanish for our clients and community. Let’s get on a 30min Clarity Call to see how we can work together.

Some of the activities we prepared for the retreat included:

  • Personal style workshop from International Image Consultant, Edith Chan – During this half-day session, guests learned about color psychology, how to create their signature style, and ways to show up with a stronger personal brand image.
  • Individual brand photography session with Personal Brand Photographer, Claudia Guerra – Each retreat guest had about an hour with our retreat photographer to capture updated images for their website, social media, and some touristy photos for themselves.
  • A walking tour hosted by our own Admin & Operations Team – Guests had a 2hr walking tour with our team to learn more about the history, landscapes, and legends of Toledo!
  • Spa evening in the Arab Thermal Baths with Massages – To close out the retreat and an intense week, we celebrated with an evening at Medina Mudéjar with thermal baths and massages for the group – the perfect way to unwind!

Here’s what everyone had to share was their favorite part of the retreat:

“Getting feedback and ideas from everyone was incredibly valuable. I also loved the mix of business with fun activities and meals, so there was a lot of time to get to experience Toledo!”

Julia BoccheseSEO Consultant & Pinterest Strategist

“If anything, I wish the retreat was longer! This was a great retreat from A to Z. I’ve gotten really valuable and thought provoking feedback from everyone at the retreat and have had the time to implement the feedback immediately!”

Rocio Sanchez – Digital Marketing Strategist

“It was really fulfilling helping to create the Retreat. I loved sharing with the participants the space to foster creativity combining business & tourism in a magical place”

Mario Pérez – Admin & Operations at TQP

“Being able to share Toledo with retreat guests, as well as have dedicated time to work on our brand and marketing strategies, was amazing! I loved hearing all the ideas from guests and how people had the time and space to implement feedback and ideas right away!”

Cassandra Le – Founder & Brand Strategist at TQP

Future Retreats for 2024

I’m excited to continue offering experiential marketing and events for our clients and community! We are hosting another VIPiña Brand Retreat in May 2024, specifically for thought leaders, personal brands, and small business owners!

Here are the details:

  • DATES – May 6-10, 2024 
  • LENGTH – 5 days, 4 nights 
  • GROUP SIZE – 9 people max 
  • LOCATION – Toledo, Spain

Meet other global business leaders, visionaries, and founders in Toledo, Spain to bring your thought leadership and personal brand strategy to the next level. We’ll be working through the next iteration of your brand message, business vision, and bird’s-eye view marketing strategy, so you get invited to more industry opportunities. 

We’ll explore and take in the rich history and culture of Toledo – known as the ‘imperial city’ and the ‘city of 3 cultures’. Toledo was once known for being the hub for art and culture, bringing famous artists to this medieval city to create, reimagine, and innovate new ways of being. 

To build our personal brands and thought leadership, we must dig deeper into our own history, stories, culture, and experiences – and Toledo is the best place for that. Get lost in winding cobblestone streets, step back in time, and reimagine what could be.

Check out the details for our VIPiña Brand Retreat 2024 and there’s still time to secure your spot to join us for a week of brand building, networking, and marketing!

Got a question about the retreat? Send us an email at hello[@]thequirkypineapple.com. 

>> If you’re looking for support with your event marketing strategy, let’s get on a 30min call to see if we’re a good fit. We’ve planned our own branded events, retreats, and workshops in English and Spanish around the world! We’ve also supported our clients to help them market challenges, webinars, course launches, and more. 

Looking for brand strategy or copy support?

Schedule a call to learn how we can help you with brand messaging, copywriting, or content marketing!

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