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  • Writer's pictureJen VanAntwerp

You're hosting an alcohol-free networking event... in a bar?

Hosting an alcohol-free networking event can be a challenge, especially when it comes to choosing the right venue. As someone who got sober over 20 years ago, I know all too well the challenges of attending conferences and networking events while abstaining from alcohol. However, with the Sober in Cyber nonprofit, we aim to change the narrative around alcohol-free events and show that they can be exciting, memorable, and special... no matter where they're held (even in a bar).

Breaking Stigma

When I first got sober, I thought that certain activities like socializing, dancing in public, or singing karaoke would be impossible without alcohol. It took some time to rewire my brain and "relearn" how to enjoy these things without relying on substances. But once I did, I realized that these activities were just as fun, honestly even more so, when done sober. That's why one of the goals of Sober in Cyber is to destigmatize not drinking and show that you can still have an amazing time without alcohol.

But why choose the Mob Museum's underground bar as the venue for our launch party? For one, it was a cheeky nod to the prohibition era. It was also symbolic of our mission -- to reclaim spaces and activities that were once associated with alcohol and make them accessible to everyone. Plus, the venue has an unbelievably cool atmosphere and lively music, which will make for a very memorable evening.

Of course, it's important to be cautious when hosting or attending events in bars, clubs, or similar spaces. You don't want to put yourself or your attendees in a situation that could trigger temptation. The folks at the Mob Museum have been very helpful in providing separate spaces that focus on the history of the era, and a whole slew of delicious-looking mocktails and snacks. Between the mocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and networking with cybersecurity peers, we hope all attendees will leave happy and hydrated.

Hosting a sober event in a bar or club might seem counterintuitive, but it can actually be a great way to show that you can have fun and socialize without alcohol. It's also a way to reach out to people who might not be comfortable attending traditional sober events, or who are just curious about what an alcohol-free networking event even looks like.

Reclaiming Spaces

It's time to change the narrative around sober events and show that they can be just as exciting and memorable, if not more so, as events that involve alcohol. Choosing a unique and lively venue like an underground bar can be a great way to show that sober fun is possible, and to encourage others to join in. Just make sure to take the necessary precautions to ensure everyone stays safe and happy, and don't be afraid to embrace the irony of hosting a sober event in a venue like an underground speakeasy. With Sober in Cyber, we're reclaiming spaces and activities that may have seemed off-limits to non-drinkers, and showing that alcohol-free networking events can be a blast!


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