Make Your Events Sober Friendly

Make Your Events Sober Friendly: For many of us, the New Year is filled with the feeling of a new beginning.

This time allows us to do the things we love, like reconnect with natural beauty, increase our fitness, and spend more time with the people we love.

This is also a good time to reconsider some relationships in the new year, like our relationship with alcohol.

Healthy hedonism is one of the key trends we identified in our TRNDS 2024 report, the annual trend forecast guide – and youth program participants are leading it.

In our survey, 54% of 21 to 35-year-olds in the US said they would find a program offering zero-proof and low-alcohol beverage options attractive, while 64% of respondents are willing to pay a higher ticket price.

Over this period, the incidence of underage and no-drinking increased by 73% globally between January and September 2023, a huge increase compared to 2022 – and the sobering trend shows no sign of slowing.

“I think Dry January 2024 will be the biggest ever,” said Elizabeth Gascoigne, who organizes Proof of Absence’s alcohol-free pop-up events in cities across the US.

“I’m excited to see more mainstream venues, bars and restaurants featuring non-alcohol options throughout the year.”

You don’t have to work exclusively at a sober venue to consider no- and low-alcohol options, but keeping the needs of this growing community in mind will help future-proof your events by making them more accessible.

“The biggest aspect that no/reduced drinks brings to an event is inclusivity,” Gascoigne said. “I’ve talked to countless people who have told me that they don’t even want to drink alcohol at events, but there aren’t non-alcohol options either.”

We spoke to organizers who have run successful events to get their top tips on embracing the cool-curious trend and winning over this growing community.

any event can be extremely curious

When it comes to serious-curiosity events, there is no one-size-fits-all. In the first few weeks of 2024 alone, there are various options to cater to different groups and interests: sober crafting and cocktail making, sober dancing and babble, and oddly restrained socializing.

The Sober Girl Society, founded by Millie Gooch, organizes everything from burlesque to pottery painting at venues across Britain.

“It feels really important to me that people leave our events feeling more confident about sobriety, whether it’s because they’ve overcome their fear of talking to people at our mixer event or because they “They feel like now they can maybe calm down and get on the dance floor.

They’ve stood up in a room full of strangers and danced with them,” Gooch says.

She often asks her attendees what they would like to do and implements their ideas and suggestions.

Like Gooch, Gascoigne focuses her AF-free pop-up on a calming activity, which can help ease social anxiety: “Having a variety of activities at events helps facilitate organic interaction.

For example, if you’re all playing card games, it’s easy to introduce yourself and avoid the awkwardness of an event where you don’t know anyone,” she says.

Diversify your beverage options

For mainstream venues willing to experiment with healthy hedonism, promoting alcohol-free menu options throughout the year can be just as effective as hosting AF nights or one-off events.

“We have learned to specifically and consistently highlight our spirit-free cocktails and note on our website and menus that spirit-free drinks can be prepared by our talented team for any flavour, such as spirit-filled cocktails.

Off-menu requests can be made,” says Whitney Lamora, creative director of lesbian cocktail lounge Dorothy in Chicago.

Lamora believes in making the AF cocktail just as gorgeous and delicious as everything else on the Dorothy menu because it “makes for a more streamlined change for those who are interested in adjusting the alcohol element to suit their schedule, but not necessarily whether in the environment or the community.”

While mainstream venues are leaning toward the possibility of alcohol-free/low-alcohol events, alcohol-free bars and lounges are now on the scene.

See: London’s Club Soda, an alcohol-free “tasting room” that hosts events such as social mixers, alcohol-free mixology sessions, and book launch parties.

Beyond the Bar: Alternative Spaces for Alcohol-Free Entertainment

For those who don’t feel comfortable in a bar-like environment, no problem. Calm-friendly events can take place anywhere: local gyms, boutiques, eateries, fitness venues.

As Alleventday #GTFO Challenger, where I attended 30 events in 30 days in July 2023, one of my most memorable afternoons was spent sipping conscious cocktails at Fire + Alchemy, a wellness and retail space located in Shoreditch. Sells crystals and tarot decks located in. , London. ,

The cocktails, created by The Sober Sommelier, Alex Norwood Hill, were activated with crystals from the shop and the event was free to attend – although the cocktails cost £9.50 (about $12).

The whole experience was amazing: delicious drinks, discovering new things, meeting cool and spirituality-curious people in a non-intimidating environment.

create a community

The growing popularity of sober events creates a safe space for people who have difficult relationships with alcohol… but moderate, social, and occasional drinkers can benefit too.

And I need to know. After participating in a sober sweat session with the Sober Girl Society last July, I unexpectedly ended up quitting drinking. I haven’t had a drop for six months – and, no, I don’t miss it.

A combination of factors led to my decision (including my mental health at the time), but I’m pretty sure exercise, mindful breathing, socializing with lovely people, and drinking the fizz from an AF-sparkling wine brand were at the event.

Included. Everyone worked together to help me envision the possibility of a future without alcohol.

Sober Girl Society also has a fantastic, supportive community WhatsApp group and twice-weekly virtual events, providing everything from accountability to support and encouragement between events.

By offering no-alcohol and low-alcohol options, you’ll open up your events to a new community – who may in turn connect with each other and thank your event for it.


To make your events more welcoming in 2024, first recognize that getting drunk at social events is not a social service.

Select destinations and drug-free locations in your plan so people have more choices.

At the venue, make sure that people can have fun without drugs and stay stress-free for a long time.

Include good non-alcohol options on your menu so that everyone can enjoy their favorite beverages. Your event will not only be fun but will also shine with a variety of decoration options.

Scroll to Top