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Speed dating, as two separate words, is often used as a generic term for similar events.The first speed-dating event took place at Peet’s Café in Beverly Hills in late 1998.According to the New York Times, participants in speed dating experience an average of 2 in 10 or 3 in 10 matches.Online dating participants, in contrast, only find a compatible match with 1 in 100 or fewer of the profiles they study.
Many speed dating events are targeted at particular communities: for example, LGBT people, polyamorists, Some feel that speed dating has some obvious advantages over most other venues for meeting people, such as bars, discotheques, etc.
Usually advance registration is required for speed dating events.
Men and women are rotated to meet each other over a series of short "dates" usually lasting from three to eight minutes depending on the organization running the event.
Most speed dating events match people at random, and participants will meet different "types" that they might not normally talk to in a club.
On the other hand, the random matching precludes the various cues, such as eye contact, that people use in bars to preselect each other before chatting them up.
In the UK, there are two companies that run events in more than twenty cities: Speed Dater and Slow Dating.