How Does Speed Dating Work?

So you’re single, over the apps or just curious? Maybe you saw it on 40 Year Old Virgin, making you wonder is it still a thing and in fact, ‘How Does Speed Dating work?’

Well you’ve come to the right place, because I, Darcy Todd wondered the same thing when I attended a singles night back in 2020. Since then I’ve founded Speed Dating Social, and now with the experience of hosting over 700 events across Australia, I guess I’m an expert. So if you’re curious about speed dating, especially when it comes to how it works, take it from me. 

All you need to know about attending a speed dating event

Firstly this is for single people, or at least those who pretend to be. In a nut shell its an organized singles event where a group of people, normally with similar interests, such as Lego enthusiasts (myself) meet other like minded singles in the hopes of forming some kind of new relationship. 

1. Choose an age group

Alright so the Lego might be a lie, but there’s many types, the most popular is for events to be arranged in ages, think 20s, over 40s and even over 50s events as the most popular categories. In reality the age ranges vary. My most popular nights include 25-36yrs, to the 30-55yrs events. These ages are wide for good reason, both men and women at different ages are attracted to partners of a certain ages. And although an age range will never keep everyone happy, the best age ranges attract equal 50:50 bookings so on the night of balanced ratios, everyone has someone to talk to. 

illustrating different age ranges at a speed dating event

2. Chooing a specific lifestyle 

I called it lifestyle, but what I mean is picking a group that’s even more tailored then just a similar age to you. Think LGBTQ events to those Vegan request I keep getting. There is a multitude of different types, the most bazar is Naked Speed Dating, and I look up search terms in Google and believe me, that term is hot. But luckily there’s other groups too. 

For one it’s arranged into ethnicities like Asian or Indian singles nights. That way if you’re Asian or looking to meet single Asians (I know my last 3 girlfriends have been Chinese) not even deliberately, but if there’s a group that you’re more attracted to, then by all means. Another massive request is for Christian or even Jewish dating nights. It’s super neich, but again if you’re just looking for that one person who you’re compatible with I get it. Just be mindful, the more specific, such as ‘fitness speed dating for pet owners’, the less people will attend because less people fit that category. So I’d fully suggest just picking an age range as your first event. 

3. Book a local event

This one is pretty simple, but again people get it wrong. By that I mean choose an speed dating event that’s near your home or city. We don’t want a long distance relationship, it’s like Facebook, I don’t care how pretty her fake profile is, I’m not accepting a friend request if she’s in America and I’m in Australia. 

That means if you live in Melbourne (the winning city) book a Melbourne event and please pick the right gender. Or you know, whatever you most identify as, I really don’t mind. But if it’s a Hetro night, it means we can balance ratios, so you always have someone to talk to. Men, that means pick the ticket that says ‘Male’. Ladies, book a ‘Female’ ticket. And that’s it, pre booking your spot on platforms like Eventbrite mean we can track numbers and stick to the venue capacity, so I don’t have to make extra dodgy standing seats at the bar. 

4. Arrive a tad early

This one’s pretty straight forward. It’s not the fault of traffic, or blaming Google maps for not being able to find the venue. It’s simply arrive 15mins early so you can get settled in. If we’re running a night with 40 or 50 attendees and you all turn up at 7pm when we’re meant to start, it’s going to cause delays and you’ll miss chats. So turn up early, show the host your tick and scan into the matching app. Oh we’ll also write you a name card (if you forget what your name is) Kidding! I simply write your name and starting table number on a card (my business card – gorilla marketing much). That way you just sit your card on the table, so anyone chatting will know ‘Oh it’s Sarah on Table 7’ so they can easily select you, which is kinda the whole point. 

5. Use the matching platform 

Dating apps? I thought we were meeting people in person?! Yes, we are, just chill. Back in the good old days, before AI robots took over the world, times were simpler and we used to use old fashioned paper and cards for attendees to write down their matches. Adorable right? Wrong, it was terrible, you’d have to remember to write their name, and your contact details (legibly) which was hardly the case and then a bunch of you would either eat your paper cards or take them home. How am I meant to do the horrible 3 hr matching process the next day if I don’t even have your cards?? 

Bring in the matching app. Now I hate coding as much as you hate taxes. But that’s why you have accountants and I have developers, those smart misfits who build and rule our digital world. Introducing our matching app 4.0. Boom that’s right we’ve already upgraded it 4 times so it works pretty darn well! Bascially you scan a QR code to our Matching app, from there it asks for an Event Code. Crazy eh? But I write the Event Code directly below it, such as Meow or Love, that way we all sign into the same event. 

From there it’s going to ask some really hard questions, like your name, number and email, oh and gender. That’s it, you’ll then be texted and emailed the joining link, that way you can see all the other sexy singles who are waiting to meet you. Remember, please oh please, remember to click the joining link, then you’re in. You can use that same joining link to get back into the platform at anytime and even to view your matches after they’ve been sent at 8am the next day!

6. Warm up and mingle

Warm up? Can’t we just jump in? Relax, even Olympic athletes warm up and so should you. Because you diligently listened to step 4 and arrived early you have time to grab a drink and mingle at the bar. This time is gold so use it to your advantage, and chat to everyone. Remember for best results at speed dating, you need to be in a great talkative state and have lots of social proof. That’s done by talking to people. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re attracted to them, you’re at a singles night to meet people, let’s meet them. Chat to guys, girls – it really doesn’t matter. Your goal is to make as many friends as possible so when it starts you’re already in lead position. Help the others sign into the platform, ask them if they’ve done these events before. Oh and upload your profile pic in our Matching app. That’ll make you stand out and as a disadvantage there’s plenty of competition, so put up that pic and get selected!!!

7. Starting time, lets find your seat

Ding! It’s time to start speed dating! Just kidding, cringe, I don’t use a bell. Instead I just tell everyone to find your tables. You know, the one the host told you to start at when you first arrived. From there it’s easy. Ladies, you just chill at that table, and if there’s a comfy chair, take it, the guy is only there for 5 mins so it’s more important you get a good seat. 

Gentlemen, you also start at your starting table. So if your name card says ‘Stephen 7’ go to the table with the 7 on it. Simple eh? You’d think so… And I know some people arrive late or just take forever to order their margarita from the bar. But if you’re by yourself – just relax, your date will be there soon. Don’t go making a scene like when your mum said no to a lollipop at the shops, just chill. Demanding dates, whining to the organizer or doing that predatory shark walk around the bar if you don’t have a date is very unattractive. So just don’t do it guys, if you’re ever at an empty spot, just be comfortable being by yourself, chill on your phone and we’ll rotate in a couple of minutes. 

8. Say something sexy

‘I’m an accountant, are you also in HR?’ Boring and now she’s already drier then the Sahara Dessert. Come on, unless you’re a secret agent or dragon tamer, don’t start with your job. The worst thing you could do is think you’re creative and accidently say the same thing as her last 10 dates. Instead think of something fun and new 

Don’t say this

  • What do you do for work ❌
  • Do you come here often ❌
  • What do you study ❌
  • I’ve been to heaps of these before ❌

Instead, if you’re a guy, say this

  • You don’t look like you’re from around here, I bet you’re European ✅
  • You look like trouble, promise you don’t have a gun in your handbag? ✅
  • I’m so glad I booked this bar for us, you haven’t been cheating on me have you?✅
  • I know I’m meant to meet 5 more women, but none can compete with you, can you help me let them down gently? ✅

9. Use the Intermission 

Talking is hard work and you’ll defiantly need the break. But instead of snoozing in intermission, why not use it to tee up the perfect date for you? Of course it’s also time to get in that desperately needed wee break or top up those drinks. But not too many, you need to be somewhat aware for all your upcoming chats. 

Firstly, social proof, in intermission don’t be by yourself, you’ll look like an unwanted loner and will likely stay that way. Instead jump into a new conversation, as fast as possible. Think of Mystery’s 3 second rule, you see a set you open it. Simple. Just say something like ‘How’s it been so far?’ or ‘Have you met your next husband yet?’. We’re staying in the zone, making more friends, and remember you’re here to maximize your chances of finding and convincing the next love of your life to be with you. Or at least a hot fling would be nice. 

10. Finish and mingle

At the 2 hour mark, so normally around 9pm the majority of people are pretty talked out. Hopefully you’ve had between 8 to 17 mini dates by then and the ice in the room has well and truly been broken up into a singles slushy. 

When the event ends, unless your babysitter can’t be trusted with your liquor cabinet, don’t run way, even if your car is being towed, stay put! You’re now in a room with a group of singles who have literally paid to meet their next partner. If you were a hunter they’d be deer, lying on plates and waiting to be eaten. Not really, but you get the idea. Just do something normal like keep chatting or get anther drink with anyone you hit it off to and do an instant bounce date. 

man and woman on a date at a cozy, elegant restaurant

An instant bounce what? A bounce date, – it’s really tough. You’ll have to say something crazy like ‘Hey, it was great chatting and I’m just about to get a bit. Want to come across the road with me to this cool pizza joint?’ And bam, instant date. You don’t have to wait for the matches the next day and can demonstrate your alpha traits of leadership and confidence. 

11. Follow up dem matches

You’ve got mail! Well actually a text message with the same link to our dating platform. Here you’ll get the number of everyone who selected you. Everyone you selected will also get your number too! 

Remember to reach out to your dates, but nothing to crazy. Don’t send them a paragraph, just get a conversation going, re ignite the spark that dimmed in the time that’s elapsed. Then when you feel it’s right invite them on a date. That’s it, that’s exactly how speed dating works, even in Australia’s capital! Now go on and get after it you magnificent being!