For the past 15 years in row, my company LetMyPeopleGo.com
has sponsored "The Ball"
. Although denominated as "Jewish Singles" event, The Ball is also, to the best of our knowledge, the country's biggest singles event of any kind. More than 4,000 people now attend annually in NYC and more than 1,000 attend the LA version of the event (co-hosted by the LA Guardians, a charitable organization).
For the NYC event, we take over 5 or 6 major Manhattan nightclubs at the same time and provide complimentary limousine service for "party-hopping". The event is bigger than any event ever thrown by JDate, with whom we directly compete.
Our sister company, NetParty.com
sponsors the best-attended business/social networking events nationwide. These events are geared for all young professionals and NetParty has more than 100,000 young professional members.
My intent isn't to toot our own horn, but to note that despite the experience of those like Match.com (whose mistakes with MatchLive were, with all due respect, obvious), these events can be successful in their own right.
Having said that, we are leveraging our offline success to develop what we believe to be innovative online solutions that allow people to make new connections both online and offline and bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds. If any of this is of interest, we'll be attending iDate 2011 Miami and are reachable by PM.
P.S. Mark, although I certainly wouldn't argue against the notion that events can be a PITA, the notion that the people who attend events aren't the same who use online dating is certainly not true for all.
OPW - Nov 25 - Several dating services have experimented with events in the past. Most notably, ran Matchlive for some years, but folded it. Lavalife
ran events at cinemas and mixers. Spark Networks
ran Joes Club, and more recently bought Hurrydate
in 2004, and last month sold it back to the original founder. Does the internet dating industry love events. Nope. Why? The consensus is, they're a pain in the ass to do well, and generally not profitable. They keep you awake at night, and can be sources of major customer dissatisfaction. Also, I hear, the people who come to events are NOT the kind of people who use internet dating. Large events make money. Small events are merely cost centers, unless they're run by volunteers. And its very tough to find good volunteers that don't burn out quickly. And then there's the whole aspect of liability. Ugh! Good luck finding decent insurance.
If you want to attend some events, or would like some role models to be inspired by, here's some options I recommend looking at:
- started in 1980, has 8 branches and is a very good deal. OutdoorLads.com
- Gay outdoor events group with lots of inexpensive camping options.
USA-WideEvents and Adventures
- Singles focused events and adventures.Its Just Lunch
- Lunch dates based matchmaker
LAPC - L.A. People Connection has been around for years, is free and is volunteer run. (Co-founded by my ex-wife
- Outdoor Adventure Club, the standard for outdoor adventures.The Meeting Game
- Inexpensive dating events.Urban Diversion
- Adventure and social club based in San Francisco with some evemts in Silicon Valley.
- Dallas/Fort Worth. Powered by Memberize. A popular social and outdoors club.Hill Country Outdoors
- Houston. The original club started by the Memberize founders.
Speed dating in the USAPredating
, 8 Minute Dating
Speed dating in the UKSpeeddater.co.uk
- acquired by EasyDate in 2008
, runs events all over the UK
If you know of more great events and adventure clubs, please add them to the comments on this post. We'll review them and perhaps create a page on OPW for people to refer to in the future. Personally, Irena and I
LOVE events. We're party people and would rather be running a party or adventure hike
, than sitting behind a keyboard. MORE NEWS @ ONLINE PERSONALS WATCH