5 Top Tips for a Successful Dry January Event


POSTED BY | Will Simmonds

Planning an event for Dry January is a great way to reward healthy choices and give your audience some encouragement as they turn down a tipple. Done right, your guests should hardly notice that they are attending a dry event. The lessons you learn from a Dry January event should also carry over into your other events. Remember, 1 in 7 people do not drink and 1 in 4 are trying to cut down. That means catering for non-drinkers should be a factor in the mind of every event planner. So before you book your alcohol-free bar and lock the liquor cabinet, here are 5 top tips for planning an alcohol free event.

1 Your drinks need to be exciting

Imagine walking up to a well-stocked bar. There are potentially hundreds of different spirits, cocktails and drinks to choose from. At a dry event you want the same level of choice. Two great options are non-alcoholic spirits like Seedlip and alcohol-free beers like those produced at the Nirvana Brewing Company. Glaziers Hall offer both of these options. You should also look into craft soft drinks that are uncommon in your area. There are good craft soft drink options here and remember a good craft soft drink selection should have plenty of interesting new flavours. People are used to having plenty of drinks options so make sure not to disappoint!

2 You need to be comfortable with no alcohol

More and more people don’t drink at all and others are cutting down their consumption. That means dry events are not just for January. Event organisers and venues need to be comfortable running a dry event. They need to understand what their attendees want rather than just what they want to avoid. An event being dry should be mentioned but it should not be the main selling point.

3 Make it an experience

Millennials are drinking less than any other generation; a full quarter of 16 to 24-year-olds do not drink at all. These people are simply less interested in what’s behind the bar. What they are interested in is experiences. Traditionally an experience might have been receiving a fancy or complicated cocktail. However with interest in alcohol waning, we suggest creating an experience with non-alcoholic drinks or food. Research shows that 68% of millennials would rather spend their last £10 of the night on a food truck and 71% would prefer a cool smoothie. Your goal should be to make everything you offer special, which leads us nicely to our next tip…

4 Focus on premium ingredients

This is true for food, drinks and overall experience. The ingredients of a good drink should be the best. That makes it feel special for your attendees. It also means you can charge a much higher price point. The same is true for food. Premium or exotic ingredients make food and drink an experience. Think of the difference between a regular burger and a wagyu beef burger. One is an average lunch, the other is something special. One will be eaten, the other will be Instagrammed.

5 Fun first then alcohol-free

Remember that people are not coming to your event because it is alcohol-free, they are coming to have fun, learn or get something out of their experience. Whether you are putting on a conference or a launch party make sure you focus on fun. No one attends an event because of something the event is missing. They attend because of something the event has.

If you follow these 5 rules your Dry January event has a great chance of success. Just remember that making your event an experience and offering plenty of options for food and drink is the best way to keep guests happy. If you are interested in planning a dry event of any kind, contact Glaziers Hall today.