How to put on a speed dating event

Have some bite-sized appetizers that are tasty and easy to eat -- nothing too messy or too pungent.

Pita bread and hummus, bruschetta, or basic cheese and crackers are all good options. Speed dating events are fairly common now, but you have the chance to make yours stand out.

Organize effectively with lists, name tags, and a timer.

Figure out ahead of time which 10 people will be staying put (at tables, or on couches, etc.) and which 10 will be switching chairs, to make the process more effective.

Consider whether your event will be formal or casual, or have a theme such as “tropical island” or “1990s.” You can have your guests each come up with some clever first-date questions to put in a hat for random drawing, or create formal question cards for every table.

Whatever you do, make sure the environment is relaxed and fun.

These tips will help you organize one that is fun and full of possibilities, without so much hassle.Example: “Please plan an event that will enable me, a 56-year-old woman, to participate in the speed dating. I just turned 40 and after reading the age group for your event I was offended.” Over 40 myself, I empathized and promised these people—my people—that I would be the one to turn this ship around. Yes, typing it out makes it sound so much worse than it did in my head, but I wanted so much for this event to happen.I want to be honest and therefore will not crash the event planned for 47-year-olds.” Another woman wrote, “Please tell me what it is wrong with being over 35? I found another “olde taverne” type setting and arranged an event for the 42 to 54 age range. Offering free coupons meant this event would be pro bono for me—it would cost me money, actually. I did not blanket suitable suitors on but instead read every profile in this age range and explored their interests and personalities.You should only host the event on your property if you’re comfortable doing so, and you know the guests or at least know people who can vouch for them.If you’re inviting strangers, you might want to book a private room at a restaurant or the meeting room of your church.

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