We think of alcohol as vital for evening events, and in most cases, it probably is. It lubricates conversation and helps many people relax. But I wanted to share this recent New York Times article that inspired me to shake things up and consider going alcohol-free at my next event.

“Shine” is a networking and dating event founded in Venice Beach, CA, and that recently expanded to New York City, which is notable in that no alcohol is served. Participants drink tea, juice and mocktails and eat delicious, healthy, mostly vegan meals. It results in sparkling conversation that isn’t dulled by drunkenness, and strong connections.

I don’t recommend dispensing with alcohol completely or replacing your teambuilding events with massage chains. People will think you’ve lost your mind! But I think attendees want something different out of events, and event planners are so versed in what works that we’re afraid to take risks, in case our groups aren’t as progressive as we want them to be. Alcohol-free events can be a small risk.

Have you planned an evening event without alcohol? Switched out your filet mignon for a kale salad? Or organized a group meditation? If not, can you imagine it? I know I can.