If the dating scene in your town has you and your single friends longing for the days of arranged marriages, or if you're happily attached and ready to take your matchmaking urges to the next level, it may be time to consider hosting a speed dating event. Speed dating has been around since , when Rabbi Yaacov Deyo and several of his single students put a new twist on the longstanding Jewish tradition of introducing young Jewish singles to one another at chaperoned gatherings. At a speed dating event, participants are paired up in a series of quick five- to seven-minute "dates. While seven minutes may not seem long enough to determine whether a new acquaintance is a potential match, Rabbi Deyo and other speed dating organizers have found that it gives participants plenty of time to gauge their level of interest or get a feeling that the other person is just not the right fit. As an added bonus, the round-robin setup enables participants to meet more potential matches in one evening than they might otherwise encounter in a month or more of traditional dating. Speed dating services can be found in just about any major city, but there's no need to wait for the next scheduled meet-up in your area.
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Run a speed dating event
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The day it was posted online was the day it sold out for women. Ticketmaster would have been proud. E-mails asking to be wait-listed blew up my inbox. I sent word out to former customers. I asked friends and colleagues to alert their more distinguished single male friends. I posted and pleaded and marketed and advertised.
How to run speed dating event
This is the point where I should have apologized to My Girls and cancelled the event. But I wanted so much for it to happen that I had another of my now-famous bad ideas. 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.
How to Host a Speed Dating Event
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. 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.