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.
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Unlike many bars, a speed dating event will, by necessity, be quiet enough for people to talk comfortably. Participants can come alone without feeling out of place; alternatively it is something that women who like to go out in groups can do together.
Because the matching itself happens after the event, people do not feel pressured to select or reject each other in person.
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.
in that everybody is purportedly there to meet someone, they are grouped into compatible age ranges, it is time-efficient, and the structured interaction eliminates the need to introduce oneself.
A 2005 study at the University of Pennsylvania of multiple Hurry Date speed dating events found that most people made their choices within the first three seconds of meeting.
Furthermore, issues such as religion, previous marriages, and smoking habits were found to play much less of a role than expected.
Online dating participants, in contrast, only find a compatible match with 1 in 100 or fewer of the profiles they study.
As reported by the BBC in the Science of Love, it only takes between 90 seconds to 4 minutes of face-to-face interaction to determine attraction, which gives speed dating an advantage over online dating.
While over 100 companies in the US offered speed dating through online registration during the growing of the Internet, between 20 three large speed dating companies emerged with a national footprint in the US, with events in over 50 US cities: Hurrydate, 8Minute Dating and Pre-Dating.
In the UK, there are two companies that run events in more than twenty cities: Speed Dater and Slow Dating.
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.