Research Reveals: How the Average American Defines a Party

Thursday August 29, 2019

by Zoya Gervis // SWNS

Two's company, three's a crowd — and according to a recent study, 10 is a party (unless you're a baby boomer).

For Gen Z, millennials and Gen X, 10 is the threshold, while baby boomers have a more conservative limit of eight people before they deem it a party.

A recent poll of 2,000 Americans examined the social habits of different age groups and their relationship with various events — from coffee dates and brunches with friends to ticketed events like concerts, trivia nights and food festivals.

With the average respondent having three things on their social calendars in a typical week, that equates to more than 8,000 social events (8,640) in a lifetime. As could be expected, these reported social habits varied based on age group.

The average millennial surveyed reported going to an event 2.96 nights a week while Baby Boomers claim to only socialize 1.62 nights a week. And Gen Zers average 2.75 social events a week.

The data reveals that once people hit 30 years old, their reasons for socializing begin to shift. It's not that those in their 30s stop socializing and turn into hermits, it's just that they are no longer going to parties for the alcohol.

The research, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Eventbrite, found that drinking doesn't factor into their social lives as strongly as imagined — just 29 percent claimed free food and drink to be a reason they would attend an event.

Instead, 32 percent attend events for the potential of meeting someone special while a further 24 percent are motivated to go if it would be a unique date idea to share.

A quarter are motivated to show up to a competition, like a trivia night or game night, while 23 percent find themselves drawn to an event with a unique theme.

As it turns out, 73 percent choose to attend events that allow them to explore their city, like an after-hours event at a zoo or a neighborhood bar crawl.

"Americans attend events to challenge themselves and express who they are," said Ronnie Higgins, Senior Content Strategist at Eventbrite. "When your event taps into their collective interests and desires, they're more likely to show up and bring others with them."

Social connection is another major factor for attendee motivation. Forty-three percent of those studied are motivated to go to an event when they know other people that are also going, while 42 percent simply enjoy attending events to connect with others.

Despite this, the data shows that millennials are not afraid of going to events where they don't know anyone, compared to their younger Gen Z counterparts.

In fact, just two in five millennials will proactively avoid going to an event where they don't know anyone. This is in contrast to the whopping 57 percent of Gen Zers who would avoid an event where they didn't know a single soul.

Of course, the allure of these unique options differ based on region. In San Francisco, the hottest types of events include comedy shows (52 percent), sporting events (48 percent), trivia nights (41 percent), bar crawls (35 percent) and a night out at the zoo (33 percent).

But in NYC, concerts are the favorite type of event to attend. Nearly half (49 percent) of those living in the Big Apple revealed a night out at a concert is their preferred mode of entertainment.

That being said, not everyone is partying like it's 1999. According to the study, being too tired is the number one reason Americans avoid attending events (56 percent).

And that isn't the only deterrent — over half (52 percent) of those surveyed indicated an event that is too far away would also stop them from attending.

Another 46 percent said that having tickets that are too expensive would make them think twice, while a further 38 percent revealed not having enough money would stop them from making it to an event.

"Unfortunately, no-shows are inevitable," added Ronnie Higgins, Senior Content Strategist at Eventbrite. "But if you care enough to understand your local audience and tailor your events to their specific tastes, they're more likely to commit."

*Lifetime of events: 3 events a week x 4 weeks in a month = 12 in a month x 12 months in a year = 144 a year x 60 years in the average adult lifetime = 8,640 events total


1. Getting to catch up with someone I haven't seen in a while - 48%

2. Spending time with people I love - 44%

3. Knowing other people that are attending - 43%

4. Connecting with others - 42%

5. Celebrating a special occasion (i.e. birthday, engagement) - 39%


1. A festival - 52%

2. A concert - 51%

3. A restaurant - 46%

4. Friend's house - 45%

5. A food and drink event - 45%


1. Music festival - 52%

2. Concert - 48%

3. Comedy show - 44%

4. Food festival - 45%

5. Party at a museum - 39%

6. Networking event - 38%

7. Trivia night - 38%

8. Sporting event - 37%

9. The theater - 38%

10. Art gallery opening - 32%


1. Music festival - 45%

2. Concert - 40%

3. Party at a museum - 36%

4. Trivia night - 34%

5. Food festival - 33%

6. Bar crawl - 33%

7. Silent disco party - 31%

8. Networking event - 28%

9. Comedy show - 28%

10. Booze cruise - 28%

11. Paint parties - 28%

12. Sporting event - 23%

13. Art gallery opening - 22%

14. The theater - 21%

15. Night out at the zoo - 19%


1. Too tired - 56%

2. Too far away - 52%

3. Too expensive - 46%

4. Not enough money - 38%

5. Work-related duties or stress - 36%