How to Host a Speed Dating Event
By Beth Brindle
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 1999, 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." When the time is up, a bell or timer is rung, and participants move on to their next one-on-one conversation.
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. Our tips for hosting a speed dating event will help you organize a gathering that's fun, relaxing and fruitful for participants while preserving your sanity at the same time.