Over the years, the speed dating event has had to evolve in name and format. For me, the ye olde style of speed dating always conjures up imagery of people sitting uncomfortably behind squashed tables and chairs. Each person is doing their best to try 'sell' themselves to a complete stranger, before their time runs out. With a feeling, more akin to a job interview, rather than a social gathering, very often a person would having to move on to the next encounter, just as the conversation got interesting. I imagine that it was these factors that played a part in formatting speed dating events differently, as many new gen organisers, in and around this industry, have radically developed a new UX. They saw the folly in the old method and not only changed the game, they also changed the name. What they now offer, is a greater, more rounded experience...essentially, speed dating is dead...but has arisen to be so much more.
Personally, I have only been to a singles mixer under one brand: LOVE JONES and it was only on my second visit, that I actually got involved with somebody. So okay, it didn't last, but I realised something monumentally important back then, especially for a semi-recluse like me. In those 2 mixers alone, I had the opportunity to talk to more women in 2 hours, with the purpose of potentially starting a relationship, than I had in the last 5 years. Think about the intelligent design of a social mixer - how often are you going to be in a room, where:
a) Everybody is present for the common goal of finding a relationship (or something of the sort).
b) Everybody will be open to your initial (and polite) advances.
c) As a man you're actually allowed to express interest in more than one woman, within the same building.
d) As a woman you're actually allowed to express interest - period.
e) The demographic has been cultivated to suit your type in advance.
Sounds like a no brainer - right?
Now, I have been sworn to secrecy in regards to what will take place on the night, but I can assure you that there is a very natural process to the evening's proceedings. You face no pressure or uncomfortable scenarios in a mixer and for someone like me, who can be shy, that is a big deal. I cannot stress the importance of the 'Ice Breakers' part of the evening. For a singles mixer, this part is vital. This is the segment that will give you the opportunity and confidence to talk to everyone in a group framework, before having to deal with the one-to-one situation. Get there for the start or end up having to put in more work later on.
I was going to write a list of do's and don'ts, but I think the video below illustrates a perfect list of faux pas not to commit, when you sit in front of a person and you're trying to find out about them. Have a good time and remember this is supposed to be fun!