Is it closing time for alcohol centred events?

Often seen as a key ingredient of team bonding and corporate events, alcohol has long been used to bring teams closer together through shared experiences. But, as recent trends and research reveals, not as many people are viewing these alcohol centred experiences with the same enthusiasm. In fact, more and more individuals are waving goodbye to events defined by alcohol, and finding new ways to bring their teams closer together and create strong working relationships. 

Why are more and more people looking for non alcoholic events? 

Whilst many industries perpetuate heavy drinking cultures as an almost compulsory component of networking, recent research reveals that younger professionals are looking for non-alcoholic alternatives to events. Nearly half  (48%) of those polled in a recent study agreed that professional events should be organised around activities that don't include alcohol. Anne Francke, CEO of the Chartered Management Institute said "younger people and women are more interested in social activities that do not involve alcohol, and that should also be taken into account when planning professional social gatherings".

Anne’s comment reflects a rising trend amongst gen z and younger groups, and the wider conversations being had around the role that alcohol plays in our social lives. According to a recent article, 41% of gen z’ers associate alcohol with words like  “vulnerability”, “anxiety” and even “abuse”, whilst 60% associate drinking with a loss of control. As we search for new and better ways to connect with our teams, perhaps alcohol is now being seen as hindering genuine connections, rather than encouraging them.  

What does this mean for events? 

That’s not to say that there’s no room for alcohol at any event format. For some people, alcohol can be a great way to relax and unwind with colleagues. What this attitude shift asks for from event planners is formats that put less emphasis on alcohol being viewed as the sole way that people can create connections with one another. Alcohol free events are simply another way of creating activities and shared experiences that make all attendees feel included, regardless of their drinking preferences. 

Non-alcoholic event ideas 

So, what activities and concepts can event planners incorporate to create more inclusive events that shift the focus away from endless drinking? 

Escape Rooms

Strengthen teamwork and communication whilst having alcohol free fun by trying to puzzle your way out of an escape room. With hundreds of escape room locations across the UK, this is the perfect way to bring your teams closer together in a way that doesn’t involve getting a drink at the local pub. 


Yoga classes 

Show your teams just how seriously you take their wellbeing by organising an exclusive yoga class. Not only does this bring the focus back to the balance needed to take care of your mind, body and soul, a class will also equip your team with the practices they can do over and over again after the class has finished. 

Paintballing or Laser Quest 

For slightly more adrenaline fuelled teams, paintballing or laser quest activities can inject that perfect dash of competition that creates strong working relationships outside of the office. Mixing up the teams to create cross departmental teams can be a great way for your people to get to know others outside of the group they work with day to day, and strengthen cross company relationships too! 

Need a helping hand when it comes to understanding the interests of your teams and translating these into effective event ideas? Get in touch with our team! We know how to design event formats that achieve your goals and meet your attendees’ unique needs.