How to Accommodate the Non-Drinkers in Your Group

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Let’s be honest: The meetings and events industry often comes with a serious dose of imbibing.

Happy hours. Networking events. Wine tastings. Brewery tours. Signature, event cocktails. Alcohol, like food, can be a central element to a meeting and can be an ideal way to incorporate your host destination’s culture. Think wine in Northern California or bourbon in Kentucky. That said, what about your attendees who don’t drink?

Research from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions shows that 30 percent of American adults don’t drink at all, while another 30 percent consume less than one drink per week. People choose sobriety for several reasons—sometimes, they just don’t fancy alcohol. Whatever the logic, that’s a large number of sober attendees looking to be equally accommodated. Here are three ways to make these attendees feel comfortable at your next event.

Do a Juice Crawl

While wine tastings and brewery tours can be an excellent way to explore a local destination’s F&B offerings, consider incorporating a juice-tasting experience into your meeting program. Juice Crawl started in New York but has spread to other cities across the U.S., offering corporate events a juice experience similar to a pub crawl. Attendees visit three or four juice stops and shoot fruity samples to get a feel for the local juice scene.

Create an Alcohol-Free Lounge

Design a space specifically dedicated to your sober attendees (a plan much easier executed at larger events). Provide the same food and fun nonalcoholic cocktails that tie into your event theme. Make it entertaining with massage chairs, and create a lounge atmosphere with couches. Better yet, set it up like a coffee house, tea parlor or oxygen bar that even the drinking attendees will want to experience.

Organize Morning Dance Parties

DJs and dancing are always associated with night time activities, but why? Encourage dancing any time of day by bringing a DJ to a breakfast or lunchtime soiree. Take inspiration from Daybreaker, now available in 22 cities and counting. Most Daybreaker events typically begin with a one-hour yoga session, followed by two hours of dancing—all before the workday begins.

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