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This has been my observation as well, having attending such events off and on over the years as I moved between cities. The more extroverted people connected with each other and were never to be seen again after one or two events, leaving the shy/awkward around as regulars.

In bigger cities, though, there's a constant influx of new arrivals so it's not so bad.

The more extroverted people do connect,make friends, and go on dates. This can be really frustrating it is mostly a matter of taking oneself out of the "comfort zone" be that work/church/school/basement and going out into the real world to talk to people.

It is not comfortable, but you will regret more not attending an event than if you did. It took one or two times of realizing that "I'm tired" at the end of the week was no excuse to avoid making friends.

You have to go out there and meet people, they don't necessarily have the will to meet you.

I would not tell the parent how they will feel. For myself, I have been actively attending meetups and other events as a way to meet people for about a decade. At the beginning I forced myself to go, even if I doubted I would enjoy it. And sometimes I would make friends and get dates.

But eventually I realised I mostly regretted attending. Sure, you can meet people, but it's a setting that creates an initial bad impression and with people who are probably a bit socially awkward. Doing the initial greeting stuff got really old (job, home country, etc...) and most people were uncomfortable skipping it.

So now I never go to events to meet people. I only go if I would go anyway, because I'm curious enough or know I will enjoy myself. That's my recommendation, anyway.

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