5 ideas for alcohol free events
Time to read: 3-4 minutes
“Alcohol is relaxing.”
Right, it sounds stupid, but what if your/your client’s birthday party started with a yoga session. Just picture it, instead of everyone arriving scattered and stressed from the day so far, everyone connects with physicality in a playful relaxing way. I’m not saying go through Vinyasas with extreme focus, but a few happy babies, a little bit of wild child, finishing off with a supta baddha konasana could create lots of happy giggles and connect everyone in a way alcohol just doesn’t. Having everyone on a floor will create an ease and flow throughout the night, breaking down the barriers of who can I or can’t I talk to, potentially making for the start of some great friendships. It’s definitely more relaxing than accidently hitting on Ted from the office. I’m definitely sticking to this one as the best idea for alcohol free events.
“But I like the taste.”
I have to admit, I’ve never ordered a mocktail. I think I’ve been embarrassed, it’s like getting alcohol free beer, weird. Why is it weird though? It’s just a nice tasting drink. Surely drinking nice things came before fermentation? If your client says they don’t want alcohol, it might be for religious reasons. They may not have had many cocktails, and may never have had the joy of finally getting sick of that much sugar. Getting some nice mocktails in can be a way to show them you care about their experience, and their choices. I’m not talking about mojitos made with soda water and mint. All the fun parts of cocktails, like the foam on top, the blending of flavours and the strange colours don’t come from ethanol. Get the egg whites, rose syrup and dried lavender out in martini glasses to give non-drinkers an enjoyable change from their cola and coffee.
“It helps me talk to people.”
I’ll give you this one. I am not a team player. Most of the time, if I’m drunk it’s because I do not want to be around the random guys who have flocked to our table and alcohol is the only way I can force a sociable smile on my face. I hate games, I don’t want to dance, the words networking and team player make me throw up in my mouth a little bit. But a) so does alcohol so which one’s really worse, b) if I don’t want to be around someone, maybe I should just leave, instead of forcing drunkenness on myself and c) maybe it’s time to grow up, maybe this anti-social behaviour really came from wanting to be accepted but somehow, the rude exterior became who I am instead, and now it’s time to let go of that. I’ll tell you what I can’t resist. Animals. Can anyone? Who cares about social blahdiblahs and anxious this and that’s when there’s cute animals in the room. Wall’s break down, barriers are broken, self-conscious habits are lost and everyone’s just happy to be in the room. Pop an emperor tamarin, a sloth and a meerkat in the room and everyone will be too confused and endeared to feel shy for much longer.
“It makes me let go of my inhibitions.”
This one sounds like it would do the complete opposite, but bear with me. Before the event, you send out an invite saying we’re not going to be drinking, we are going to have our shoes off and we’re going to have a judgement free environment. If anyone would like to be silly or playful, that’s fine, we’re all going to lower our inhibitions and feel free around each other. Just setting the intention, and giving the group a physical sign that when they walk in judgement’s left at the door will create a safer environment. After all, isn’t half of the reason our inhibitions are lowered a result of the cultural response to alcohol induced activities rather than the actual effects of the drug itself? I hate waking up the next morning embarrassed, but I love feeling spacious and free around my friends, feeling like I don’t have to worry. Drinking is a change, it’s a shift in your normal physiology. You start drinking with the plan to feel different and the belief that you’ll have fun. The way I see it, you could just set up the same environment with some well worded text on a bit of paper, and a physical sign that it’s all going to be alright now.
“I just want to feel drunk.”
Everyone’s heard of that place where you sit in a silent oddly shaped room and things get weird. Or the one where you lie in water and darkness and you start to hallucinate. I certainly know I’ve been sober at raves before, filled with endorphins and staring up at the lights I’ve felt more distorted and happy and, well non-sober, then just being drunk. I don’t know anywhere near enough about AV to be able to figure out how it would work, but if rave lights can make me feel out of it by accident, I’m of the belief that someone could use lighting and sound to do it on purpose. I know those hallucination videos on Youtube were a load of rubbish, but if the principle’s sound, wouldn’t it be fun to give your client a drunk/distorted alcohol-free experience.