Our view: Why Dry January feels impossible in the events industry

C&IT's associate editor has been off the sauce for a month and shares his thoughts on an industry bugbear.

Day 27 was the most difficult. I was feeling moody and a bit joyless. Another gloomy day in monochrome.

It reminded me of a mate from south Wales, now a graphic designer working in London. He gave dry January a whirl a few years back. But after a week, his wife told him to go to the pub for a pint because he had “turned into a bear”.

So why get sucked into 'Dry January' and put yourself through all this? 

The issue came into sharp focus at the C&IT Corporate Forum last month, the first full week back to work after the Christmas break.

It was a great event, but there was a moment when we walked down the corridors to dinner - among the sharks at the Sea Life London Aquarium - that will live long in the memory.

As we arrived for dinner there were, of course, drinks on arrival. I swooped in for a delicious lime and rooibos flavoured mocktail and pushed aside the fizz, thankfully not noticing the pale ale (my preference).

But it was only when we were seated for dinner that I learned that two people on my table (a supplier and an event planner who will remain nameless) were also ‘doing dry January’.

Or at least they were until they unthinkingly sipped a glass of champagne that had been handed to them on arrival, before saying 'oh, what the hell'.

Quite right too. If you are going to drink, you might as well enjoy yourself. And when it comes to booze, I enjoy a tipple as much as anyone.

Out every night

In December, like most in the industry, there were a couple of pints after work and the odd evening event with drinks. Then, for me, there was a FAM trip to Australia, our own events and Christmas drinks came thick and fast to add to the boozy blur.

The point, especially in our industry, is that it is so incredibly easy to slip, almost unnoticed, into a habit. We could all be out every night.

But there is always more work to do tomorrow, which is made much harder with a fuzzy head.

And ultimately, it’s down to the individual to take responsibility for looking after their health first, to be at our best and most productive.

Fast forward to today, and my final few dry hours before I head off to the pub tonight (I started my dry January a bit later so it continued into February). But I’m honestly not sure whether I’ll have a lime and soda, or a pale ale. I’ll let you know at our next event.

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