Cult of the Cocktail

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#ExpoChat topic for Wednesday, December 3, 2014, 3pm ET/noon PT

Moderator: Michelle Bruno (@MichelleBruno)

There is both a serious and a light side to serving alcohol at trade shows and conferences. Not everyone drinks alcohol, so to a certain extent, using it to attract people to a networking event (think about how many people would attend a reception or gala dinner if either were “dry”) is exclusionary—not to mention the fact that liability is associated with the practice, especially when guests overindulge.

On the other hand, those who do view a glass of wine or a beer, even a “themed” cocktail, as a pleasant additive to social get togethers, welcome the presence of alcohol and believe it helps them relax and have fun after a long day on the show floor.

Given the fact that serving alcohol comes with baggage for event organizers and attendees, does alcohol hurt or help business-to-business events? Can you really do business when you’ve had a couple of drinks? Do we place too much importance on drinking at events?

Here are the questions we’ll be discussing on #ExpoChat this week:

Q1 What are the advantages of serving alcohol at an industry event?
Q2 What are the disadvantages of serving alcohol at an industry event?
Q3 When does serving alcohol at a business event get “out of hand”?
Q4 How can event organizers include both drinkers and nondrinkers in networking events?
Q5 What types of networking events should NOT include alcohol?
Q6 Organizers: What alcohol policies do you have at your trade shows?
Q7 Suppliers: What policies do you have governing staff at events that serve alcohol?
Q8 What types of networking events should definitely include alcohol?
Q9 What effect could serving alcohol at networking events have on the industry it serves?
Q10 What effect would curbing the use of alcohol as an ingredient in networking have on the industry the event serves?
Q11 On a lighter side: what is your absolute favorite alcoholic beverage?

About Traci Browne

Trade Show Consultant and Freelance Writer
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