With the financial year over you may find yourself invited to more than a few corporate parties to celebrate. For those of us who have made the Dry July commitment to raise funds for adults living with cancer by abstaining from alcohol these events can be challenging.
While standards may vary from industry to industry I’ve compiled a list of my top five tips for successfully navigating networking drinks during Dry July.

Be confident

Just because you’re at the booziest pub in town doesn’t mean you have to fit in with its clientele. While you might be rolling your eyes, situational awareness can diminish after a few drinks and being the sober one in those moments can be lame. But just think, when everyone recalls the night you’ll come across like a sober superstar!

Embrace mocktails

Some industries are notorious for having a culture of heavy drinking. If you’re not drinking you could quickly become the subject of an informal inquisition as a clueless colleague. My best tip in these circumstances is toorder a mocktail or a plain soda water with lime. It’ll look like a gin and tonic and as long as you sip on it you’ll be able to enjoy the night without the pressure of your peers asking if you need a drink.

It’s not a competition

Don’t brag! Abstaining from alcohol at a celebration might be trying, but you don’t deserve a medal for it. Tell others why you’re not drinking and talk about the Dry July challenge, rather than how great you are for getting this far. Chances are you’ll bump into a few people on the night doing the same challenge and you can use this to your networking advantage.


Most responsible corporate events provide at least canapés, so have some nibbles throughout the night but be careful with what you pick. Ask yourself: can you eat it while standing? And afterwards will you have to contend with crumbs, flakes or oily fingers? No one likes a greasy handshake.

Be understanding

If everyone around you is having a drink, take any plans they make with you with a grain of salt especially as the night goes on. Leave the important conversations in the office and enjoy mingling with you co-workers.

Armed with these helpful tips you’re set-up for party season success. Just remember where you are, what your goal is and the impression you want to make. If you’d like to make a donation to the Dry July Foundation head to their website. >

Do you have any Dry July golden rules? Share them with us in the comments!

About Dry July

Dry July is an annual fundraiser that encourages Australians to give up alcohol for the month of July to raise funds for adults living with cancer. Anyone over 18 can participate and entries are open for individuals as well as teams. The money raised will go towards providing better services and environments for those living with cancer and their families.