Friday, October 20, 2006

Speed Dating 101: Drop The Pickup Lines

“You must be tired.” ... “Why?” ... “You’ve been running through my mind all day.”

If pick-up lines and the bar scene have lost their appeal and the thought of internet dating makes you think of that creepy IT guy from your old high school, it’s time to welcome the newest alternative in getting acquainted—speed dating.

DateandDash, a Chicago-based speed dating company, is the newest trend to offer a solution to the traumas of dating. DateandDash looks to side-step the pitfalls typically associated with first dates. Awkward silences. Incompatibility. Rejection. Or perhaps the biggest obstacle of all, summoning the kahunas to swap digits and arrange the date in the first place. Sound familiar?

So what’s speed dating anyway? As defined by their website, DateandDash is a fun and exciting way to meet a lot of other singles in your area. It’s a newer dating technique that can be traced back to a Jewish Rabi in Los Angeles in the mid-90’s. Hmmm…if an LA-based Rabi didn’t catch your attention—here’s how it works.

Through their website,, a prospective speed dater can purchase a ticket for a ‘speed dating party’ that is usually held at local classy bars and pubs. During a speed dating party, an attendee is assigned a number and a score-card to take notes on the people that they will be dating throughout the evening. An attendee spends approximately 5 minutes with each candidate and then moves on to the next candidate—therefore experiencing multiple ‘dates’ per event. (Think of it like a series of mini interviews.)

Determining a match is pretty simple. If Male Number 2 circles a ‘Yes’ after his date with Female Number 1 and Female Number 1 also circles a ‘Yes’ to correspond with Male Number 2—that’s a match. Within 72 hours after an event, DateandDash emails an attendee his or her matches and the necessary contact information for the successful partnering to meet again.

Chicago, a city fabulously littered with ‘single and ready to mingle’ professionals, provides a huge customer base for the DateandDash concept to flourish.

“DateandDash has grown rapidly,” said co-founder and co-owner Josh Walden. “People attend our event; they like it and tell their friends. That is how we get new customers everyday.”

These new customers are comprised mostly of single busy professionals that do not have the time, or perhaps the energy, to pursue the relentless and often unpromising bar scene.

As described by Walden, the typical DateandDash speed dater would be a busy single mainly between the ages of 23 and 39; however, the only enforced age is 21 and there is no ‘age-cap’ for the parties.

“People who try DateandDash want to have fun while looking for that special someone, in a convenient and relaxing atmosphere,” Walden said.

And as co-founder, that ‘convenient and relaxing atmosphere,’ is what Walden, 28, and his partner and co-founder Vilius Gavrilenka, 28, are looking to provide at each event.

How to Make Great Money Hosting Speed Dating Events: A Complete Guide Anyone Can Follow