Speed dating events can be run by large companies such as bars or clubs, or by local in the venue, and give details of the next event if you are planning one.
Table of contents
- How Should You Prepare?
- 5 Steps to Hosting Speed Dating Events
- 4. Explain the rules
- How to Host a Speed Dating Event
For businesses, hosting a speed dating event is a great marketing tool, and a perfect way to capture some additional revenue on slow nights, and brew goodwill among your single customers. Plus, ZippyMatch makes hosting speed dating events easier than ever before. Think about what happens after the event is over: Or, maybe someone on your staff.
If you don't want to waste your time or labor money manually figuring out who said "yes" to who, use ZippyMatch.
We also provide you with a sign-up page to help track interest in your event, and reporting to reach out to people after the event is over. Facebook is the natural advertising medium for speed dating events.
How Should You Prepare?
If you have an established fan page, we recommend pushing your event on your Facebook page. Start marketing your event weeks before your event. Our restaurant and brewery customers have also found success in marketing in-store on menus, chalkboards, and other in-store signage. The layout of your event space is crucial to making the event easy to understand and navigate for your attendees.
There are three big things to think about when you setup your event: If you are hosting an event with more than 30 people, you will likely need to have a dedicated check-in stand to help direct people to their seats. You should also think about using a check-in stand if you have distinct groups such as age groups. Name tags are a common feature of speed dating events, and can either have a dedicated table, or be part of the check-in process.
Most speed dating events have one gender sit, while the other rotates.
5 Steps to Hosting Speed Dating Events
Depending on your venue size and number of attendees, you may want to consider using a PA system for explaining the rules and making announcements. Most organizers use a bell, a bullhorn, or some other noise-making device. You could also flash the lights. Be as creative as you wish!
The rules are up to you, but speed dating events commonly use a few rules to make everyone feel more comfortable: Once everyone is seated and ready to go, start the dating! I would find the men where they lived—on Match. All I needed to do was search a reasonable radius for men in my target age range looking for women in that target age range.
But because soliciting the men to pay for the event in this manner would not be appropriate, I offered them a free coupon for the event. Yes, typing it out makes it sound so much worse than it did in my head, but I wanted so much for this event to happen. Offering free coupons meant this event would be pro bono for me—it would cost me money, actually. It was a literal labor of love. I did not blanket suitable suitors on Match.
4. Explain the rules
Then I personally e-mailed them after reinstating my own account—on my dime and discussed the opportunity with each. I spent more time researching dates for these women than I ever did for myself. Eventually, I had my crew. In the 24 hours before the event, I was out four, almost five, women. One wrote me the day prior asking if she could still get a refund, and I explained that because she was confirmed this was not the policy. Three others cited sickness and a work obligation, and one was a no-show.
This is when life takes a funny in hindsight turn, leaving me with too many men. And although the men were as friendly and talkative as I had hoped they would be, the majority of them thought it appropriate to tell their dates that they were attending for free. Let me tell you, the women had a hard time seeing my side of this story. Even though I did get a match, if anyone asks what I thought of the whole experience, I will inform them that I would not do it again as the men were there under false pretense, and certainly not with yourself as the Event Coordinator.
Clearly, my well-intended enthusiasm was not well received, despite the fact that this woman actually got a date out of it. I was tired, and felt like my 8minutes was up. I realized it was time to turn in my bell. Not so much a lesson as an insight.
How to Host a Speed Dating Event
Speed-dating is one of many ways to meet a new love, but it is not right for everyone. When I consider why the concept attracted me so, and look back at the several men I met and dated—briefly—while serving as EO, it becomes clearer. I was a fan of the eight-minute date because that is what worked for me. At that time, as a single parent of two kids and two dogs, with a full-time job and a home to run, a speed date was all I could manage; all I could commit to. To those of you newly looking, or still looking, or in the midst of packing up your bells and staplers, I say: