Thursday, May 21, 2009

Running a Singles Event

I received an e-mail a couple of nights ago from someone who is considering running a singles event. They were asking a number of friends for advice as to how to go about doing so, and gave permission to pose the question to the audience here; please speak your mind, as they would love for this to be a success.
We are looking into hosting a Saturday night singles event sometime in August. We would love to get input from all of you about dos and don'ts for such an event. We have been told to have a "program" and that stuffing guys and girls and snacks in a room will not yield results. We thought of doing something where you have x guys and equal number of girls at each table with questions/conversation starters in the center. As in speed dating, you get a certain amount of time to talk and then at the sound of the bell, the girls get up and switch (to separate) tables and a new group sits down. By doing it in small groups, you are more likely to meet everyone (we are thinking of capping it at 25 of each gender). If you do speed dating, you probably won't come in contact with everyone. Our concern is that the quieter/introvert will not speak up...

What is a good amount of time to run such a program? 2-1/2 hours?

We are contemplating having it at #####'s house (whose husband is a pulpit Rabbi). On the one hand it is more intimate, on the other will people be weirded out having it at a Rabbi's house? The other choice is hosting it in a shul? Comments? Pros/cons?

What kinds of questions can we ask (not to be shared with participants) and what is considered off limits?

How young is too young to invite to such an event?

We want people to look at it as a "this is a great way to meet people" event and we will market it as such.

Thanks for your insights!