Do Alcohol & Business Events Mix?
Drinking at business events is common, with more than half of our company parties serving alcoholic beverages. Some types of work events are more likely to include alcohol (such as company holiday parties) while others (such as conferences and sales meetings) reserve cocktails until the after-party. So how do you know if you should serve alcohol at your function? And, if you do serve alcohol, should you limit with a drink ticket service, cash bar, or leave it up to the bartender? Will your guests still have fun if you choose not to serve alcohol? After planning functions specifically for companies for the past 35 years, we have the solutions.
The Answer: Yes, if served responsibly.
If served properly alcohol not only mixes with business, but it can help cultivate ideas, motivate employees, and foster life-long friendships that inspire loyalty. Depending on your company’s culture and past experiences your employees/guests may even expect an open bar. Most adult guests not only want alcohol served, but they expect it to some degree, depending on the nature of the event. A holiday outing, award ceremony, or milestone party are all events that alcohol are routinely served.
Benefits of Serving Alcoholic Beverages
Besides the expectations of guests, alcohol spikes attendance and helps set the tone for your event. If your guest list includes 21+ VIPs, you should include alcohol. These distinguished guests have schedules that include Champaign brunches, plated dinners and cocktail parties. Younger generations also expect craft cocktails while others expect at least beer and wine. Know your attendees and plan accordingly.
Wine, champagne, and mixed drinks served from real glasses create a luxe atmosphere seen at more sophisticated events VIPs attend such as press events and cake cutting ceremonies. While beer bottles and alcoholic beverages served in disposable ware should be reserved for a more relaxed function, like an employee appreciation or networking event, with a mixed guest list.
Warming Hearts with Cold Drinks
Adults need mentors in their lives to help guide them. Business events give employees a chance to find their mentor(s). Some of us are lucky, and our mentor and boss are the same, but for others, that mentor may come from a different department. That person’s job inherently makes for different viewpoints which, in turn, makes for better conversation. That conversation is what leads to a lifetime of personal and professional growth. It is through these moments that coworkers turn into “work-family” members. Leaders must strive to ensure employees have not only the opportunity but also a comfortable environment to foster relationships. Alcohol can help relax a nervous crowd and create a more comfortable environment to connect to others. Our corporate events are designed to both celebrate the endurance of positive choices as well as foster an environment where others can learn skills from meeting and socializing with mentors.
Should you have a drink ticket service, cash bar, or leave it up to the bartender?
Going to serve alcoholic beverages, but have concerns about serving alcohol and liability? If you want to serve alcohol but want to limit liability issues, we have good news for you. Our 35 years of experience in business event settings have allowed us to hone the skills of our bartenders, servers, catering team and even the entertainment (like our DJs and live bands). They work together so seamlessly your guest won’t even know the party is being guided to walk the line between professional and fun.
What we recommend.
For business events, we strongly recommend either by professionally managed open bar(s), wristbands, or a ticketing service. Our team can handle the distribution of drink tickets and wristbands at registration. Reduce lines, friction and increase gratitude by avoiding cash bars. Regardless if you decide on a single toast, beer and wine only or a full bar, all of our bartenders are professionally trained and experienced in a corporate setting. Be sure to plan for a meal or hearty appetizers, coffee, and plenty of other fluids as well with your event manager. Permits, liability insurance, and other details are handled by our specially trained staff whose decades of service have taught them the recipe for a successful event. Serving any alcoholic beverages at a work function should be left to licensed, fully-insured professionals. See more best practices from an HR perspective here.
Will your guests still have fun if you choose not to serve alcohol?
For dry events, we recommend adding more games, activities or performances to keep guests entertained and having fun. However, ‘fun’ is relative to the individual. What is rewarding for one person may be different for another. So how do you give hundreds of people with such different ranges of likes and interests the same ‘fun’ and ‘joyful’ experience without something extra in the mix? Just ask your employees. Send out a link to a survey (our coordinator can help put it together for you) in your next company newsletter or email blast.
Mix it up. We Can Help.
Want to mix up this year’s party? Looking for something new and exciting to enhance the fun, appreciation and attendance? If you need some assistance planning a party for your company, we are here to help. Just fill out the quick and easy form below and an event manager will be in touch!
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