Speed dating is a modern matchmaking event where a group of singles spend anywhere from three to eight minutes with each of a selection of possible partners, hoping to find out something in that time that will pique their interest in at least one of those persons. If this happens (and the sentiment is returned) then contact information is exchanged and hopefully it’s the start of a beautiful and lasting relationship. It may sound easy enough, but it requires careful planning, the right ambiance and a sound head for business to ensure it’s a profitable venture for the organizer.
Speed Dating as a Business
While you may feel an inner warmth knowing that you were responsible for bringing together two people who now feel they are soul mates, having a business that earns you extra money is also a cause for an inner glow. But before you start calling up all the singles you know (and their brothers), there are some pertinent points you need to consider first.
- Your business must appear established. Give it a name; design a logo; have a tagline; develop a website; and make sure you put social media to work for you.
- Have great public relations strategies. A likable, trustworthy, preferably female ‘face’ for clients to come in contact with; unique themes for events that will arouse interests (and hopes) in the prospective participants; one of a kind invitations that will suggest that you have invested much thought and care into making the event worthwhile for all involved.
- Open a dating merchant account to accept card payments, whether credit card or debit card. This makes it easy for your clients to pay and makes it secure for you to collect for your services. It also makes your service seem more professional.
- Expressed confidentiality – so that your clients know their contact information goes only to those participants they approve of. Many singles are weary of speed dating organizers, as they feel their information may be given out to any and all who ask out of the myriad of participants at the event.
- Be prepared for the actual event. Have all you need (and might need) on hand. Consider items to be used by the participants during the actual ‘dates’; items required by the host to ensure smooth flow of the proceedings; and general ambiance-creating items. Some staples include pencils, small note pads, a timer, a bell or gong (or other innovative signal to say it’s time to switch partners), name tags, refreshments, lighting, and music.
- Consider local establishments as the setting for your events. Make sure these proprietors know it’s a ‘win-win’ situation for you both. This means you don’t pay to use the place but sales and exposure to your clients will be worth the locations agreeing to your offer.
- You ARE in this for the extra cash, so take a careful look at pricing. Investigate the cost for other similar events and look closely at what they offer. Price your service accordingly. Don’t just go cheaper to beat out competitors; show why you cost more if this is the case.
- Attend a speed dating event yourself and casually interview friends who have – after all nothing beats first-hand knowledge!
Once you have all things in place, start sending out invitations and calling singles you know. Start small at first and don’t overreach you own capabilities and resources. Get input from friends, family members and other associates. Then, commit yourself to learn from the first event; improve on it; and build a thriving business being a modern matchmaker.
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