WEC23: Raise a glass, get creative

Blog > Industry News

WEC23: Raise a glass, get creative

By Michael Pinchera | Jun 11, 2023

Deborah Hinson, HMCC (MPI Gulf States Chapter), with Fleming's Steakhouse, shares some flavor in advance of her June 15 WEC23 session “Exciting Trends in Non-Alcoholic Beverages.”

Your session is in partnership with the MPI MD Community, but I presume the education will be applicable to planners of other types of event?

ABSOLUTELY! This session will be of interest to anyone looking to understand what’s trending in the non-alcoholic beverage space and how to (potentially) enhance their event/guest experiences! 

Can you share one of the exciting trends that you’ll be discussing more in-depth during your session?

We will break down the increasing growth of non-alcoholic beverage trends across the U.S. by category—beer, wine and spirits—and work to determine how this data can inform the planner’s decisions for their events. We’ll look at emerging trends including:

  • Beverages for the sophisticated diner
  • The “Sober Generation”
  • Food pairings with non-alcoholic drinks
  • And, yes, alcohol-adjacent beverage trends

Can you speak about the growing interest in offering non-alcoholic beverages at events?

There are numerous reasons, including a wider wellness movement (post-COVID) taking place, with more people from every age taking better care of themselves; younger Gen Z consumers are less interested in drinking alcohol; and improved brewing and distillation techniques have provided new, high-quality options.

What’s a widespread/common error that you see planners making when it comes to beverage options at events?

I would not call it an error, but in the past few years, the market has been overwhelmed by new products—some spectacular, some not. Navigating this environment is time consuming (something none of us have!). Hopefully, this session will provide a simpler roadmap. 

Tell me about your favorite non-alcoholic drink for an event setting.

I have a couple. The first is a Lyre’s Amalfi Spritz which is made with Lyre’s Italian Spritz and Lyre’s Classico. The second is a Seedlip Panoma made with Seedlip Spice 94, fresh grapefruit juice, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and club soda.



Michael Pinchera

Michael Pinchera, MPI's managing editor, is an award-winning writer and editor as well as a speaker, technologist and contributor to business, academic and pop culture publications since 1997.