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Because the matching itself happens after the event, people do not feel pressured to select or reject each other in person.
On the other hand, feedback and gratification are delayed as participants must wait a day or two for their results to come in.
If there is a match, contact information is forwarded to both parties.
Contact information cannot be traded during the initial meeting, in order to reduce pressure to accept or reject a suitor to his or her face.
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.
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.
The first speed-dating event took place at Peet’s Café in Beverly Hills in late 1998.
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.
At the end of each interval, the organizer rings a bell, clinks a glass, or blows a whistle to signal the participants to move on to the next date.
At the end of the event participants submit to the organizers a list of who they would like to provide their contact information to.