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How many drinks do I need for my event?

Planning food and drink allocations for your event can be a minefield. If you over-order too many, you've misspent your budget and could potentially end up with a lot of wasted food. If there isn't enough - well, let's not go there.

Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are the bedrock of many events, whether they're lubricating the conversation at networking meets, loosening the dance moves of the in-laws at the wedding, or providing a much-deserved cocktail treat after a long day of conference talks. Or maybe even a birthday party with your nearest and dearest! But what's the sweet spot between happy guests and unhappy guests?

1. Calculate the number of guests

This is a pretty simple starting point! If you don't know the exact number of guests, work out a generous estimate. And make sure to account for drop-outs; corporate events tend to observe a 30% drop-off rate for confirmed attendees.

2. Work out how many drinkers there'll be

Don't confuse this with the number of attendees. Children and non-drinkers should be subtracted from your total number.

3. Allocate 1.5 drinks per guest per hour

Experts estimate that the average drinker rate is 1.5/g/h. Oh, don't know expert-boozing-speak? That's 1.5 drinks per guest, per hour.

So, if you have 100 drinkers, that's 150 drinks for every hour. A five-hour event for one hundred guests would need 750 drinks. Easy.

(If that still all sounds too complicated, try this drinks calculator. Problem solved.)

What's the most cost-effective way of buying these drinks?

Your drinks budget will depend on:

a) the type of event
b) the types of people attending

A wedding with a bunch of heavy drinkers will need a lot more than a daytime product launch. Given there are so many variables, and so many unpredictable aspects, we recommend this:

Unlimited Drinks Packages

This can include beer, wine and soft drinks, but you can also upgrade to spirits too. No stress, no calculations, and not an empty hand all night. Nice! For some out-of-this-world drinks options, try Sixth Sense or Mix and Match.

So what's the best value for my event?

Well, there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to events. It depends on the venue and the cost per drink, what drinks you would like to offer, and how boozy your guests are.

Make sure to compare the costs per drink (once you've looked at the bar or venue's pricing) with the cost of an unlimited drinks package. Some are more competitive than others. And if you need any help, that's what we are here for! Get in touch for help negotiating the best deals on your venues and suppliers.

If you want to take your event to the next level, our experts at Hire Space will help you find the perfect venue.

Plus, if you'd like to chat with us about how we can save you time and money and help you with planning seamless events, get in touch with our experts at Hire Space 360.


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Author Izzie Lachecki profile image

Izzie Lachecki

Izzie brings a deep understanding of the events world to Hire Space, and keeps busy by writing lots of Hire Space and EventLAB content and managing the Hire Space social media presence.

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