How to effectively bringing health and happenings together

Everyone seems to be looking for health and wellness tips to improve event attendee experiences. Whether it’s non-alcoholic beverage offerings or wellness activities such as electrolyte IVs, the demand is surging for event programming that promotes a healthy lifestyle and supports a vast array of drinking choices.

Healthy Alternatives to Beer and Wine

“Sober curious” is gaining traction as a lifestyle trend, and many seem to be dipping their toes into going spirit-free. We’re seeing more mocktail beverage menu requests coming into Crown Block from our event clientele on both the social and corporate sides, and if you’ve spent any time in a beverage aisle in the grocery store recently, you know non-alcoholic options are in high demand.

One in three adults who love to indulge in a cocktail or glass of wine every now and then are rethinking their relationship with alcohol, per a recent CivicScience poll. This trend isn’t merely a random personal choice; it’s truly reshaping the very fabric of events and conventions.

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Meetings and events experts must adapt beverage, mixology and activation programming to accommodate these requests, along with considerations such as dietary restrictions and corporate drinking policies.

These preferences are increasingly influencing venue dynamics and corporate conversations about their employees’ wants and needs, yielding a desire for customized programming including dynamic, creative, complex, thoughtful and delicious mocktail options.

As an events professional who was sober for nearly 3 years, my personal journey instilled in me a profound commitment to ensuring inclusivity and accommodation for every individual palate and preference that enters our event space.

Best Non-Alcoholic Beverage Strategies

If you’re asking yourself where to start when it comes to integrating non-alcoholic beverages into event programming, a great starting point is to create an intake form for your clients. Touch on topics such as who is coming to this event, whether there are any food or beverage restrictions you should be aware of, and most importantly, what kind of activations your group cares about most.

Knowing your clients’ needs and specifications will allow your team to feel confident when consulting with catering and bartending teams, whether they be an in-house restaurant or venue partner.

Catering and event teams know that mixology is a craft—at its essence, it is a recipe, just as customizable as a food dish. The increased interest in non-alcoholic options has given rise to a whole new wave of creativity from both our beverage team and beverage teams across the country, and it’s great to approach this wave as an opportunity for libation exploration.

Allow this to enhance collaboration between culinary management and event programmers on flavor profiles, textures, garnishes, batch-crafted syrups and herbal tinctures. An easy activation to work these mocktails into is a beverage greet, adding passed mocktails to welcome trays for guests to choose their own beverage adventure based on their unique needs and goals. Nearly all our event clients have requested both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options since late 2023.

Feel Good Trends

Post-Covid, we’re seeing a sharp increase in the desire to feel good in your mind, body and soul. Events are on the frontline of this wellness revolution.

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The “action stations” we had become so used to are now transforming into immersive health-boosting stations that provide benefits in real-time. Imagine electrolyte-boosting IV drips, a ‘shot bar’ that’s all about healthful elixirs, reiki and massage stations to relieve the body, tarot readers to connect with the spiritual realms, custom stones and crystals used in guest gifts. There are so many subtle and bold ways this paradigm shift is beginning to show up in events. Not only is it fun to get creative with, but it leaves guests with a memory that sticks out.

These wellness-centric initiatives signify more than just transient trends; they embody a collective dedication to nurturing mental and physical well-being. As we chart our wellness-centered course forward, the fusion of entertainment and wellness is redefining the very landscape of events, offering experiences that not only tantalize the senses but also rejuvenate on a holistic level.

woman in black coat and pants and light brown shirtMackenzie Kahl is a Dallas-based hospitality and events expert with a passion for innovative event production, management, and making a positive impact on corporate entertainment.

She is currently director of catering and events at Crown Block’s premier event space, The Crown Room, where she thrives being front-of-house, front-of-room, and in front of clients seeking to make memories. She is a graduate of the University of Nevada Las Vegas William F. Harrah College of Hospitality.