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Organising a Speed Dating Event: 30 Speed Dating Questions, Marketing Tips, and More!

Finding your perfect match isn’t always easy, even with the many dating apps out there. But what if there was a fun and exciting way to meet new people in person? Enter speed dating events....

Finding your perfect match isn’t always easy, even with the many dating apps out there. But what if there was a fun and exciting way to meet new people in person? Enter speed dating events. Organising a speed dating event can be a rewarding experience, not to mention a great way to get your brand or venue in front of more people. In this article, we'll guide you on how to organise your own speed dating event, how to market it effectively, and even provide you with 30 creative speed dating questions to make your event a hit!

What is Speed Dating?

Speed dating is a quick-fire format that allows singles to meet potential love interests in a fun and organized manner. Typically held in a bar or restaurant, attendees book their space in advance to ensure a balanced ratio of potential matches in the room. The best part? It takes the pressure off having to maintain a conversation with one person all evening and helps alleviate any nerves for those reentering the dating game.

two people talking at a speed dating event Image: Two people talking at a speed dating event

According to social skills expert Jon Bradshaw, dating in real life is a more natural and self-satisfactory way to meet prospective partners. In fact, research by Tylt shows that 84% of millennials would rather find love in real life than online. So, it's the perfect time to organise an in-person speed dating event that attendees will love.

How do Speed Dating Events Work in the UK?

Imagine it like musical chairs but for dating. Tables are usually arranged in a line or circle, and attendees move from seat to seat to meet their dates for the night. Each encounter typically lasts between two and five minutes, giving participants enough time to decide if they find someone attractive or not.

person at speed dating event with name tag on Image: Person at speed dating event with name tag on

Here are some tips to help you pin down the fundamentals for a successful speed dating event in the UK:

  • Attendees embark on several quick-fire encounters, and a bell or buzzer rings when each timed date comes to an end.
  • Participants progress from one table to the next until everyone has had a chance to meet each other.
  • Attendees usually register ahead of time to ensure an even number of potential partners.

There are various types of speed dating events to cater to different preferences, such as those for singles looking for long-term relationships, working professionals, or even religion-specific options. By browsing Eventbrite's platform, you can get a sense of the full scope of UK speed dating events.

Common Rules of Speed Dating

If you're organising a speed dating event, it's important to be clear about who the event is for. Provide a suggested age range or indicate the preferred sexual orientation so that the right audience ends up in the room. After the dates have taken place, participants can select the people they'd like to meet again, either confidentially on the night via a form or later online. If there is a mutual interest, their contact information can be shared with each other, with consent.

To ensure the event runs smoothly, create a checklist of rules to inform guests about what's expected of them on the night. Here are some ideas you might want to suggest:

  • Be on time.
  • Follow the rules of the event.
  • Be present - switch off your phone or put it on airplane mode.
  • Be respectful - even if you aren’t interested in the person, be kind.
  • Don’t pressure people to say they’ll match with you.
  • Dress up for the occasion, but make sure you feel comfortable.
  • Speak up if someone has said something offensive or behaved inappropriately.
  • Try to ask creative questions.
  • Think about what you might want to tell people about yourself.
  • Most importantly, have fun - everyone's in the room for the same reason, so relax!

How Long do Speed Dating Events Last?

While the dates might be short and sweet at these events, you don't want guests to feel like the whole evening is rushed. Careful planning is key to facilitating smooth transitions between different parts of the night, allowing your guests to have a more enjoyable experience. Consider the following suggestions:

  • Determine how long you want each speed date to last. The length can vary, but typically between two and five minutes.
  • Multiply the number of minutes by the number of dates that will take place.
  • Add extra time at the start for everyone to arrive and take their places.
  • Allocate time at the end for people to reflect on who they might like to see again.

Hosting a Speed Dating Event

Organising a speed dating event requires bringing together various elements. A good first step is to think about where you want to host the event.

Secure a Venue

Restaurants and bars are excellent options, as well as other sociable spaces like coffee shops, student unions, or co-working hubs. Hosting your event at a venue introduces a large number of potential new customers to that location. Use this as an opportunity to negotiate a discounted venue hire cost or even secure a venue for free.

Setting up the Venue

There are practical arrangements to consider when planning your event. These suggestions will help ensure your set-up lets your event flow smoothly, making guests feel like they're in safe hands:

  • Arrange tables and chairs in a row or a circle to indicate where attendees should move at the end of each date.
  • Have a registration area at the entrance where people can sign in, pick up a name badge, and receive a list of the people they'll meet.
  • Welcome everyone to the event and explain the rules, making an effort to put attendees at ease. Ensure everyone understands the event's format before it begins.

Marketing a Speed Dating Event

Once you have the date and venue locked in, it's time to promote your event and ensure people have time to register and make plans to attend. Here are some ideas to help you spread the word:

  • Publicise the event on your social media channels, website, and through email.
  • If you've held similar events before, gather testimonials from attendees to demonstrate their positive experiences. Word-of-mouth and referral marketing can be highly effective, especially when it comes to promoting an event that some may feel nervous about attending.
  • Request the venue's support in promoting your event to their online followers and by putting up posters.

What to Charge for a Speed Dating Event?

Charging a registration fee can help cover costs. Check out other speed dating events in your area to see what they're charging, as this will help you price your tickets competitively. Additionally, consider asking the venue if they're willing to offer discounted drinks or if you can set up your own bar as an additional source of revenue. Offering a complimentary drink on arrival can also be a nice incentive to secure early-bird bookings if you have your own venue.

30 Creative Speed Dating Questions

According to research, people are more likely to go on dates with individuals who seem popular at speed dating events. So, asking the right questions is crucial to stand out from the crowd. Here are 30 creative speed dating questions to help get the conversation flowing and make an excellent first impression:

  1. Who would play you in the movie of your life?
  2. If you could bring one book/film/record to a desert island, what would it be and why?
  3. What's your favorite comfort film?
  4. If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would you pick and why?
  5. What's the strangest dream you've ever had?
  6. How would you spend your ideal Sunday?
  7. If you could travel in time to visit any period of history, which would you pick?
  8. What's the most spontaneous thing you've ever done, and would you do it again?
  9. If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you spend it on?
  10. What's your go-to karaoke song?
  11. If you found out you only had a year to live, what would you do with your time?
  12. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  13. Do you prefer to voice note or text, and why?
  14. What's the most romantic scene you've ever seen in a movie?
  15. Do you think your teenage self would be happy with your life as it is now?
  16. Would you rather live in a remote cabin in the woods for a year or in a cottage alone by the sea?
  17. What would your dream home look like inside?
  18. If you were trapped in a lift with one person, who would you choose to be trapped with?
  19. What's your love language?
  20. If you had to eat one breakfast for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  21. If you could travel back in time to see any band live, who would you pick?
  22. What's at the top of your bucket list?
  23. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
  24. Would you rather open your own bar or your own restaurant?
  25. You can only have one of these in your home — a walk-in wardrobe, a swimming pool, or a library. Which do you pick?
  26. When do you feel your happiest?
  27. If you retired tomorrow, what would you do?
  28. If you had to eat one cuisine for the rest of the year, what would it be?
  29. What's your top dream travel destination?
  30. If you could live inside the world of any book or movie, which would you pick and why?

Now that you know how to organise your own speed dating event, it's time to spread the word. Consider using a tool like Eventbrite to streamline registrations, manage attendee information, and maximise event visibility. By delivering an exceptional experience for participants, you can revolutionize your speed dating events. Start planning today and create unforgettable connections!