Six in 10 Americans only feel comfortable attending virtual parties for the rest of 2020, according to new research. The survey of 2,000 Americans found the majority are eschewing in-person events and parties -- but there’s always an exception to the rule.
While three in 10 have already attended an in-person party since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the average respondent has plans to attend nine more parties this year.
Conducted by Evite in partnership with OnePoll, the survey looked at the types of events most likely to bring Americans out of the comfort of their own homes.
The research revealed family birthday parties topped the list -- 41 percent said they’re likely to attend a family member’s birthday even if COVID-19 cases in their county are increasing.
In addition to that, 36 percent said they’d attend a friend’s birthday and 26 percent said they’d go to a wedding if it was still being held during the pandemic.
But that doesn’t mean Americans are throwing safety precautions out the window. The survey also delved into what would make respondents comfortable enough to attend parties amidst the pandemic. Seventy-eight percent of those surveyed said they expect strict safety measures to be enforced at any party, and they’d only be comfortable with an average of six guests in attendance.
In terms of safety measures that would make respondents feel comfortable, 49 percent would like to see socially distanced tables and chairs.
Masks also topped the list: 49 percent of respondents would feel more comfortable at a party if everyone was wearing a mask and the same number would like to see individual servings of food when they attend an event.
And results revealed 67 percent would feel most comfortable attending events with temperature checks -- while 43 percent expect people to be tested for COVID-19 before attending an in-person party or event.
“It’s no surprise that people still want to celebrate big moments with their friends and families, like birthdays or weddings. However, it’s clear from the survey results that the old way of getting together won’t cut it,” said Zaria Zinn, Celebration Expert at Evite.
“Simple gestures like keeping your guest list small, ensuring everyone wears a mask and practicing physical distancing go a long way in making your guests feel comfortable at an in-person party. For larger parties, hosts may want to take their safety measures up another notch so that everyone can fully enjoy themselves.”
In addition to those planning to attend an event, 27 percent even plan on hosting their own get-together in 2020.
That comes with stipulations, though -- 45 percent said they’d only feel comfortable hosting an event if they could ensure everyone followed proper social distancing measures.
Forty-two percent revealed they’d only feel comfortable hosting a party in 2020 if they knew all their guests had tested negative for COVID-19, while 38 percent would need ample hand sanitizer for everyone.
But with societal concerns about in-person events, some are choosing to be quiet about their attendance: half of respondents are “secret socializers,” as a rising trend of going dark on social media emerges.
Results found 54 percent said they plan to keep their socializing a secret during this time — and refrain from posting on social media at times they normally would.
“The way people are getting together is changing, and as we all get adjusted, it’s important to remember that everyone is experiencing the pandemic in their own way, Zinn said. “You may want to have a small get-together with extended family or close friends, but they may be more comfortable celebrating virtually right now — and it isn’t personal.”
“With Evite, hosts can easily make the switch to a parade party or virtual party with video chat if that puts their guests more at ease. Ultimately, communication is key: be upfront about your plans, but remain gracious and flexible. The important part is celebrating and supporting each other, from wherever you are.”
This story was originally published by SWNS.