If you’re an event planner looking to play Cupid, hosting speed dating nights may be the perfect way to build a business while connecting people to their potential soul mates. But first, you have to get people in-the-door. And that’s the hard part.
There are LOTS of speed dating events out there. Between giant speed dating companies and tons of local competition, trying to find love in the speed dating industry is tough. Do you even know where to start?
Don’t worry! We’ve got your back.
We’re not chicken of a little dating industry competition. And like chickens, we’ve got some im-peck-able steps to help you win with speed dating.
Whether it’s your first time hosting a speed dating event or you’re a verified speed dating guru looking for some tips, here’s what you need to set up an amazing speed dating event.
1. It's nothing but a number
You shouldn’t exclude any age groups from attending your speed dating events (unless you really like throwing money out the window). But you should definitely create multiple sessions at your event to accommodate every age.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t create themed nights. So, you can have a night for older men and younger women (50% of women say that they would be willing to date an older man) or a night for older women and younger men.
The important thing is that you’re paying attention to age. In life, age may be nothing but a number, but in the dating scene, it can be the difference between a night filled with sparks and one filled with confusing movie references and friction-filled conversations.
2. In this case, run back to your ex
If it’s your very first event, this tip may not be for you, but if you’ve run more than one dating event — you NEED testimonials.
92% of people read reviews online, and 72% of them trust those reviews more than their own friends and families. A few good testimonials can hack your event ticket sales — especially if they’re about successful dates ending in a happy ever after.
3. It’s definitely not raining men
The #1 tip that we’ve learned from all of our speed dating clients is this — focus your marketing on women.
Look, there’s a reason that bars let women in for free. Men looking for dates will go where there are women. But, unlike a bar (where the chance of scoring a relationship is less than 10%), your event offers a real chance for companionship.
This may mean pouring extra resources into ads targeted at women, but you barely have to market to men if your event has enough women. Plenty of speed dating events pull the “Sold Out to Women: Men Only” marketing trick to spectacular success.
4. What’s the safe word?
Speed dating requires ground rules. Here are some questions you should ask yourself when you’re setting your rules up.
- Are you going to provide score cards or not?
- How long are people going to have together?
- What conversation topics are off-limits?
- How are people matched together?
- How do they get in contact after the event?
Remember, poor ground rules can ruin an event. If everybody starts randomly picking people, sitting together for indiscriminate periods of time, and asking inappropriate questions, your event can quickly go south.
5. Find the right lovers nest
Speed dating doesn’t always require a huge venue, but it does require a venue with enough space to support both pre and post-event mingling. You want everyone to have room to move around and enjoy themselves while you tally up scores.
Oftentimes, event planners will set up speed dating events in bars or restaurants.
This gives you the ability to grab all the space you need AND you may be able to score your venue cheap. After all, all of those swooning singles will be hungry/thirsty, right?
6. Get traditional with your ads
Advertising speed dating events is difficult.
Social media will take away some of your ad juice simply because you’re running a dating related event. And trying to leverage display ads will end up with your event on some... seedy... websites simply due to your dating genre.
That leaves you with one option — traditional local advertising.
And it works wonders!
Get on the local radio, take out an ad in a newspaper, or put some fliers up at local restaurants/bars.
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