Events - a time for socializing, networking, experiencing, learning and celebrating and more often than not – drinking. A common component at events is alcohol (along with food and entertainment) and as Event Producers it is not something we can avoid. But it is something we can plan for. We have developed a few tips we like to follow to ensure event success, guest safety and alcohol are a good mix.
Tip #1: Bartenders and servers should all be Smart Serve Certified (this is the law). This means they have all had training and have received certification on how to properly serve alcohol and know guests’ limitations and when (and how) to stop serving someone. Check in with the venue and catering company staff to ensure all their servers are certified. We love working with The Butler Did It, their staff are certified and very professional when dealing with these types of issues later in the night.
Tip #2: Consider a signature virgin cocktail complimentary for guests to enjoy. Often the alcoholic drinks look nice, taste great and are fun to carry around (i.e. martinis). Consider creating a unique virgin twist for guests so they can still enjoy the beverage while limiting their alcohol consumption.
Tip #3: Always have an alternate ride available for guests and let them know about it. Bartenders are always happy to phone a taxi for someone needing a ride and many of our events pre-book this service, so the companies are on standby. Encourage your attendees through communications to plan ahead and book a ride home with Driver Seat. They are a chauffeur and shuttle service which will help get both you and your car home safely.
Tip #4: Practice ethical fundraising. This means, it is not to your benefit to get your guests drunk so they spend more. In fact, it is the opposite. People tend to have buyer’s remorse the next day when they drink too much and spend lots of money in the live or silent auction. You want to ensure your fundraising activities are happening closer to the beginning/middle of the evening when people are still thinking clearly and making good buying decisions.
Ultimately, by planning ahead, knowing your crowd and using amazing suppliers, you can avoid the problems that sometimes come along with alcohol at events.