Seven Tips on Hosting a Successful Speed Dating Event
It will soon be Valentine’s Day but for anyone, not in a relationship, it can be a pretty miserable time. If you are an event manager it is a great time to host a speed dating event. So how do you go about making it a success? Follow our tips from the experts:
Hosting Tips for a Speed Dating Event
Local events for local people
It makes sense to hold the event in a local venue and target the immediate surrounding area. Remember, your aim is to pair couples off. Therefore, there’s no point in hiring a massive venue, spreading the word out far and wide trying to attract people from all corners of the country. Ideally, the venue should be accessible to drivers and non-drivers and have good access to public transport.
Keep it small and intimate
Think about your guests and their needs when they walk into the event. What are their expectations going to be? Anyone attending a speed dating event is going to be looking for romance. They are not going to a heavy metal stadium gig. Keep the venue fairly small and create intimate seating arrangements. However, make sure the atmosphere is light and fun.
Use all kinds of media to advertise
A lot of events use social media to advertise and get the interest going. However, when it comes to things like singles nights and a speed dating event, you will get just as many people looking at notice boards in their local shops, parks, post offices, listening to the radio etc. Think about events pages in the local papers, placing ads in the Lonely Hearts section, anywhere people look to find love. So don’t place all your advertising online, remember to spread the word in the real world and create a buzz locally.
Pick the right venue
It is a good idea to match the venue to the type of guests you want to attract or the type you think will be interested in. So, for an older crowd, a town hall or cricket club hall would be a comfortable and fun setting for them. Particularly as many of them have probably visited those types of venues previously. For younger guests, a well-known and well-frequented town bar is a good choice.
Setting up the venue for a Speed Dating Event
What you’ll need
- Labels to write people’s names on
- Scorecards and pens
- Bell or a whistle
Typical speed dating events seat two people at a table and give them around 7 minutes to chat to each other. Other speed dating events encourage single friends to come and pair up with other singletons. You want to encourage as many guests as possible so you may want to include both options. So make sure you have comfortable seating, where people can move around quickly, but still talk to one another without being overheard.
Basically you want to create intimate spaces are people feel relaxed enough to open up in and talk and be themselves. The other way speed dating seating arrangements works are to have a line of tables with chairs either side.
Place a table and seat by the entrance door so that you can monitor people as they arrive. As guests arrive give them a label and ask them to write their name on it to wear at the event. Guests should fill out a card with their name, phone number and email address and hand it back to the organiser. This is for later if they want to swap details with a potential match. Give guests a scorecard and pen and get everyone to relax and have a drink before the event starts. You can explain the ground rules now if you like.
Setting the ground rules
You can establish the ground rules either on the advertising or on the night. Ladies get to sit down and it is the guys that move around. Everyone gets 5 or 7 minutes (your choice) to chat. They write notes on their scorecards about the person and then make a tick or cross to show if they want to swap details. When the time is up the bell will ring (or whistle blow) and the men will move one chair to the left and the same thing will happen throughout the night.
When the event is finished, encourage all your guests to stay and mingle or network. Pass on details of the next event if you are hosting one. Within a couple of days, sort through your scorecards and pass on any contact details that matched during the event.