The above scenario is all too familiar, causing more and more businesses to rethink the wisdom and effectiveness of hosting cocktail parties. Originally intended as a networking opportunity, too often the parties foster excessive drinking at company expense and may promote exclusiveness among a few extroverted cronies, leaving the introverts to either skip the party or endure the party in misery.
In our increasingly diverse business world with varying religions and ethnic backgrounds, employees are increasingly avoiding events including alcohol and even certain foods. Vegetarians, gluten-free individuals, diabetics, those that avoid certain foods for religious reasons and others may find it difficult to partake of hors d’oeuvres, as well as alcohol.
If your company hosts a cocktail party, offering non-alcoholic choices may draw more attendees. Or skip the alcohol entirely and offer a coffee and tea bar, ice cream sodas or another more trendy option. Additionally, setting a goal for the event, such as learning something new from someone in a different department or from another branch may increase purposeful mingling. Before you plan your next cocktail party, be sure it will meet company objectives and not be a waste of time and money.