Speed dating is an organized form of matchmaking that focuses on meeting a lot of people in a short period of time. Most speed dating events include short (three to nine minute) 'dates' where one speed dating participant will meet with another for a face-to-face conversation about whatever they choose. A signal is given to all speed dating participants, and each person makes a note as to whether or not they'd like to meet their 'date' again before moving on to another person. Usually a day or two after a speed dating event, participants receive word as to who else wanted to also meet them and a method of contacting each other.
Most speed dating events require preregistration with a credit card to ensure an equal number of people, or in the case of heterosexual speed dating events, an equal number of men and women. Different speed dating companies offer a different ratio of eligible singles depending on their focus; some strictly enforce matching numbers while others are more relaxed and prefer a party setting to formalized 'dates' in a certain time frame.
It is unusual to see a speed dating event with an open age range, and most speed dating events will require an applicant to fall within the age range stated in order to attend. However, some niche speed dating events throw age out the window to cater to specific groups, such as lesbians and gays, religious or racial affiliations, or those with similar hobbies.
Rabbi Yaacov Deyo of Aish HaTorah is the first to be credited with the idea for speed dating, a concept he introduced to Jewish singles with the intent of meeting and eventually marrying.
Looking for more speed dating information? Try How To Speed Date.