Speed Friending Dating Organizer Guide: DIY Event Starter Kit

This Article has been updated to also reflect the Dating Scene, many parts of this guide are strongly correlated with Speed Dating and give you the best chance at organizing a speed dating event – The original speed friending events are taking place in Vienna, Austria: Speed Friending

NOTE: In documents, spreadsheets and videos personal details have been exchanged with fake information so don’t bother to copy personal information as it is random, you might reach a strange old man if you try to dial one of the numbers who knows, so better not try. 

Starting your very own Speed Friending Events Explained – In detail! A How-To Guide for the Beginners and People without Friends.

⭐ Preparation (before you do anything else)

Speed Friending is all about preparing for the Event, so we are covering here how you can get things right before it starts to get exciting!

  • Buying or getting things sponsored 
      • Envelopes (to put all the instructions and inside for each participant) ~ 10 USD / Event
      • Paper (for printing instructions) ~ 1 pack of 150 to 300 papers / Event
      • Buy a printer if you don’t have one (i bought a good one) ~300 USD – One-time
      • Gong ~ 200-300 USD One-time (with sticks)
      • Clinches (for sticking numbers on shirts) or Tape made of Paper~ 5-10 USD (see tape)
      • Speakers ie. JBL Charge 3 ~ 100-200 USD One-time
      • Megaphon ~ 10 to 20 USD – One-time
      • Food (cheap snacks) ~ 10-20 USD / Event
      • Drinks (water for the thirsty) ~ 5-10 USD / Event
    • Yellow vest ~ 10 USD for 10 Pieces or find SPONSOR – One-time
    • Pens (I have 150) Get it sponsored by hotels or buy – One-time, they last quite some time because 50% of the participants bring pens and occasionally you’ll find that there is a sponsor giving you a few pens.
    • For the craftwork: Scissors, Black Fat Pen, Tape, Special Tape for Number sticking on shirts
    • OPTIONAL For outdoors:
      • Foldable table for outdoors
      • blankets for the grass
      • forks, spoons and knives
      • a car to drive there or transport things
  • Accounts at some Platforms
      • eventbrite.com (free)
      • meetup.com (pay for group)
      • couchsurfing.org (free)
      • friendseek.com (free)
      • internations.org (free)
      • linkedin.com events – also create company page for it (free)
      • facebook.com events – also create group & page for it (free)
      • any local events site to publish on
      • newspaper events pages to publish on
      • newspaper contacts for PR to send to when ready
      • local travel guide sites
    • bloggers
    • forums
    • local churches
    • platforms to post second hand stuff, sell or buy (we will use them)
    • Collaborate with other groups or event promoters to help you promote – befriend other organizers
    • Check if airbnb.com will accept it as a “experience” on their platform
  • Apps & Social Media Accounts to install, use and prepare
    • bloom or similar
    • shpock or similar
    • instagram! (for 24h story)
    • whatsapp! (for contacts and 24h story)
    • couchsurfing app (for the event “hangout” going live)
    • facebook! (for 24h story)
    • messenger (for 24h story)
    • snapchat (for 24h story)
    • optional: kakaotalk / telegram / line / viber
    • optional: sign up to livestream platforms (facebook already has, youtube would be optional)
  • Venue research and finding
    • find a venue for outdoors (preferably parks)
      • Check local law if you need to register event beforehand and get permission
      • Note directions how to find spots in the grass (Google Maps PIN is very good!)
    • find a venue for indoors
      • NOTE: Preferably halls, discussion rooms & should be big to hold 100 people with windows
      • If you host indoor events, use a paper and mark signs with directions how to find doors in the hallways and outside
      • church centers are good (using it)
      • sponsored venues (not tested yet)
      • cheap venues (not tested yet)
    • Think of a backup location or date to use and promote if something goes wrong
  • Find motivated staff (1 person per 20 ppl)
    • Reason: People tend to run around during the event and not listen to you
    • Note: You could also do the events entirely yourself but its quite stressful.
    • Print this STAFF Guide: https://goo.gl/ESh8D5
  • Prepare speeches for breaks
    • Jokes are good!
    • Story how you got started
    • What they can expect from the event: nothing.
    • Comfort participants – no stress or pressure!
    • Some “Friendship” quotes
    • Ask for
      • donations
      • feedback on the website
    • Asking questions:
      • Did you just move here? – Raise your hand!
      • Who of you came to find new friends? – Raise your hand!
  • Write speech introduction (for event for each time to be reused)
    • Why you are doing this
    • How you got the idea
    • Since when you do it
  • Prepare the after party
    • Scout for good places to go after the event with Staff
  • Software “Speed Friending & Speed Dating Matcher” Software is provided (learn how to use it)
    • If you have questions on how to use it, write a ticket in the “Issues section
  • Check local law and rules for hosting events
    • Time when you can be noisy and when not? in Austria usually it is allowed until 10pm to make noise.
    • Locations restricted or not?
    • Do you need a registered club or company to host or do the events?
    • Dirt bags needed for trash or trash will be removed by local authority?
  • Prepare the “welcome packages” for the event (50 to 200 pieces – you never know)
  • Optional Media Team:
    • Ask someone to take pictures during the event (can be done often)
    • Ask someone to film during the event
    • heck you can even write local bloggers, news sites or media to come and do an interview
  • Take notes, take notes now.
    • Make a graph or flowchart of your process and goals
    • Keep track of income, finances and expenses
    • Keep track of communication, media, galleries, visitors, participants (all statistics for measurement)

⭐ 3-4 Weeks before the Event

Timing is all, just a few weeks before the Event, Speed Friending needs a massive amount of work, finding venues, writing it online, searching for partners and many more Eventful things.

  • Post the event online
    • Copy from here the description and adapt it to your needs (check for newer ones on the page if you always want the newest): speed friending events vienna
    • to the mentioned platforms – see above “preparation”
    • 24h Story Snaps to your favorite channels – see above “preparation”
    • post also in “marketplaces” (such as facebook marketplaces) the sale of tickets or free giveaway of entry.
  • Post the event offline
    • Print a paper and put it in shops in the area
    • Print a paper or card and give it out to people
  • OPTIONAL: Run an ad on facebook ads to promote the event
    • 50 USD Invested in ads you should get back 50 people to sign up
    • Charge each 5 USD entry each and you got the money back
  • Let Media/PR know that they can come and be there to report
    • to do interviews
    • radio
    • film
    • take pictures
    • blog about it
    • instagram influencers
  • Start befriending 10-20 people / day on couchsurfing, friendseek and other platforms
    • Why? So you can invite them to the next speed friending event!

⭐ 1 Week before the Event

7 Days seems like a big time before the Speed Friending, but believe me, with work, daily tasks and normal life and friends, a day might only have 1 or 2 hours left for other things, such as the preparation, take that time and do things for the perfect day.

  • Check weather
  • Write in the comments section of the venue sites that they should join your facebook group
  • If you did not find enough staff, write in the comment sections (best) OR send an email out to the participants that you need volunteers to help (people will write you that they want to help, i got each time someone that said they want to help)
  • Remind participants about the event on all mentioned channels

⭐ 1 Day before the Event

24 hours left before the Speed Friending event, go get them last things and prepare it awesome so everyone can enjoy a wonderful experience!

  • Check weather again – can never be sure enough!
  • Check with your staff if they are really coming to help or if they already forgot AND Remind staff what they will need to do
    • Giving out welcome packages (the envelopes with everything in it)
    • Give each Staff member yellow vest
    • Explaining guests how the event will unfold
    • What guests should have: Did they bring a pen?
    • What the guests absolutely need to do: Be silent when they hear the gong!
  • Remind participants about the things they should bring in the comments
    • Pen
    • Water bottle – people really get thirsty after talking a lot and everyone should stay hydrated!
  • Buy food and drinks (it’s good to not have to stress but you can also buy it on the day of the event)
  • Post Exactly 24h before the event stories on instagram, snapchat, messenger, whatsapp a reminder to your friends and family

⭐ Same day before the Event

Today is the day, take time to go through the list again and make sure everything is set for those few hours!

  • Morning
    • Post on bloom the event that is taking place that day
    • Go online in the couchsurfing app and set yourself as “Want to hangout at “Speed Friending” Event”
    • Buy food for the participants if the location offers nothing, buy different things such as chips, cookies, snacks, drinks, sirup to mix, different tastes, mix it up and cut cakes and put all in bowles like at a party if you like.
  • Dress up comfortably and keep in mind that you will move around a lot and might sweat so do not wear clothes that show wet spots.
  • Few hours before the Event:
    • Arrive 30min early to make sure you can welcome guests that are 30min early (there are plenty of those)
    • Weather still ok? Sometimes weather can change until 4 hours before the event
    • Make sure location is ok and not crowded by some other spontaneous event
    • Make sure staff is 30min early too so you can enlighten them about the help you need

⭐ During the Event

Missed something? Here is a checklist for a flawless Speed Friending experience and wonderful venue.

  • Have your notes ready for speeches
  • Optional: Livestream to Facebook or other platforms
  • Permissions: Make sure you have them for the venue handy if police comes
  • Note to Yourself
    • Don’t stress, no need.
    • Keep calm and cool
  • Important information for the organizer (you)
    • People WILL talk to the same person again (for some reason always happens to at least 1 participant)
    • People WILL complain, ignore them, you can’t satisfy all
  • Don’t forget to remind people
    • to note numbers of people they want to meet after (tell them again that the carton is for that)
    • to enter information on the URL of the envelope paper
    • to give you back the pens at the end
    • that photos/film will be taken
  • Take a selfie with the group? Do it

⭐ Directly after the event

  • Go with the leftover people to a bar (see section “Preparation”) you can also write that on the meetup page description on the bottom. Sometimes a collaboration with other organizers is also a good way to do things.
  • Invite your staff for drinks at the end if they helped you or pay them more
  • Send a quick reminder in the comments section and send out a quick email to participants that they should fill out the form, do not forget!

⭐ 24h after the event

The afterparty-afterwork sort of, make sure the participants of your event are informed and get the full “Speed-Friending” experience!

  • Don’t forget to document everything that happened – remember to take notes!
    • how many people signed up from each platform
    • growth of the event and people
    • platforms that are best to reach people
  • (NEW) Instructions on how to send contacts:
    1. open the generated SF google forms spreadsheed file (i shared it with you)
    2. copy the contents manually from A1 to F60 or whatever many people came, in this case 60 rows and paste them into a new spreadsheet
    3. sort and cleanup the new sheet that you created in this format here >>  https://github.com/machinekoder/speed-friending-and-dating-matcher/blob/master/example/sample.csv
    4. now click download as TSV
    5. when on your PC, open with notepad and replace the TAB spaces with “;” so it looks like this: and then press SAVE – when you open the file it looks like this
    6. now upload it with the instructions here  https://speedfriending.at/script/ in the input textfield put the correct url to the group on fb instead of https://fb.com/yourpagename/ and put your name on the YOUR NAME as the organizer since you are sending it
    7. when you click SUBMIT it will show you a todo list, this list is the one i use to send everyone the details, i usually sent only to whatsapp because everyone seems to have whatsapp (use this shortlink while being logged in on https://web.whatsapp.com >>> https://api.whatsapp.com/send?phone=436763998935&text=Hi%20Rohit (if this does not work, i usually do it more complex:
      1. upload contacts to contacts.google.com
      2. synchronize contacts with phone,
      3. send message on  https://web.whatsapp.com/ to them, finding them the easiest way is for me to copy the last 5 or so digits of their phone number into the web whatsapp search and then clicking o their name and sending, done)
    8. or if people dont have whatsapp they usually put an email, send an email with the subject “Your Contacts! :)” and then paste the message
    9. lastly, if people dont have email or phone, send on meetup a message.
    10. thats it.

(OLD) Follow below instructions on how to go through all steps – Summary of the video steps

  • If I do this step for you, send me your version of text from here
  • Video can be viewed here UPDATE: No need to do the python method anymore, try our new version here https://speedfriending.at/script/
  • Export / Download CSV from forms.google.com to your computer [Responses] generated file and sorted!
  • Clean up / Sort / Prepare CSV – with “Excel” or “OpenOffice Calc” for use
  • Create a CSV for contacts.google.com with Emails & Names only (name them with “Speed” so you can have them sorted on your phone or business phone sim card + SF email account) – use old google contacts import
  • Upload the Event “Emails_Phone_Names.csv” file to contacts.google.com (make sure its the same google account that is also synced on your phone) here is a sample file
  • Export the TODO List with the “Speed Friending & Speed Dating Matcher” software to your computer
  • Go through each Participant and send them the contact details, I personally only send them here:
    • By Email (from my gmail) – contacts should be synced already and show up when typing the name in the “TO:” field.
    • At Meetup.com (if they gave no other contact details)
    • (MAIN) Through Whatsapp (use https://web.whatsapp.com for more convenience) – contacts should be synced already and show up
    • Optional: Through Messenger or any other Communication method.

⭐ 3-5 Days after the event

Rinse and Repeat maybe? Next month do it again! We do it every month, so can you! 🙂

  • Add each participant as a friend (this is important so they feel welcome and come again) on:
    • Facebook!
    • Instagram!
    • Whatsapp
    • Snapchat
    • Viber / Kakao / Line / Telegram
  • Befriend Other People on Platforms such as Couchsurfing or Friendseek that might have not come and invite them to join your main channel of communication, be it meetup or the facebook group or email newsletter, tell them to come there and you will inform them of the next event taking place!
  • Post pictures and videos of the event on
    • facebook page
    • facebook group
    • instagram account
  • OPTIONAL: Create a whatsapp group with the participants or give them the link to join the group!

⭐ 3 Weeks after the event

While you are already planning the next event, do not forget about the old one 😉

  • Ask participants if they met someone as survey

Speed Friending Rules

So you want some speed friending rules? Here you go, we collected all over the internet a set of rules you can use for your speed friending event today:

  • Make sure you dont smell
  • Wear something nice
  • Do not dress too provocating
  • Do not use a deodorant, it’s best to stay neutral
  • Smile, every person’s best feature is a natural smile, it affects everyone and brings joy across the room!

Speed Friending Game

In the Speed Friending Game you try to get as much icebreaking done as possible, in order to get questions in the game flawlessly through and get a good impression, but remember this is not speed dating, so make sure you focus on your game! 😉 A small twister there, use the following topics to get that ice breaking done:

  • A name
  • Contact info
  • What the person does for a living
  • Why they came and desired a friend

In the game it’s really about getting your questions perfectly nailed and your own answers straight too, remember, it’s just a game and those are just questions for ice breaking!

Speed Friending: Something a bit different

The content that follows now is a bit outside of the scope of the event “Speed Friending” itself

  • Expand your Speed Friending and start other branches of the same idea, such as
    • Speed Painting
    • Speed Walking
    • Speed Dancing
    • Cooking, Sports, …you get the idea! 🙂
  • Expand your Speed Friending the events to different cities OR Even districts in the city!
  • There is a plan for 1-Day Workshops, surveys show people like them because they can get to know people better, it’s like a day full of activities
  • Don’t forget a very special day, the day “International Friendship Day” as an Organizer you can’t miss that one!

Here a video that showcases the switching technique of rows and how the People need to move:

Speed Friending Switch Techniques

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