You are reading the 5th Version of this Guide.
The contents of this article were updated to reflect a new software that we use and put out for everyone for free, we developed it inhouse, feel free to donate to our paypal if you feel like thanking us for it.
Everything started pretty humble, in Austria, with our first Speed Friending in Vienna in 2017, soon we learned from our mistakes and possibilities which you will learn too & at the end of this guide you will be able to see how you can also create an event like ours!
RANDOM NOTE: In documents, spreadsheets and videos personal details have been exchanged with fake information.
I want to get right into the good stuff, you as an organizer will learn how to organize, prepare and successfully get an event done off the ground with 50-100 participants, depending on the size of your city and effectiveness of your planning, this is an indepth, detailed guide.
Before you do anything else, we will cover everything you need to know in order to get things going, in this section I will be talking about
(Click a bulletpoint to jump ↓ to the section in the article)
- Buying utilities OR getting things sponsored
- Creating accounts to promote & finding contacts
- Apps & Social Media Accounts to install, use and prepare
- Venues: finding (researching) and booking them ahead of time
- Finding staff that is motivated and willing (1 person per 20 ppl)
- Writing speech introduction (for each event to be reused)
- Preparing speeches for breaks
- Preparing the after party
- Speed Friending Software to use
- Check local laws and regulations for hosting events
- Designing and preparing welcome packages
- Finding media contacts and newspapers
- Take notes, about failing & improving
Buying utilities 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
- Carton (to cut for Numbers) ~ 10 USD / Event
- Guillotine Paper Cutter: https://goo.gl/Wnwyz5
- Numbering cards (so each person can get one number) ~ 5 USD / Event (pink is what we use)
- 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 (cheap one)
- 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. I called 10 hotels nearby and they all sponsored 20 pens but you can also buy them, getting something sponsored is more fun and makes for a nice experience.
- For the craftwork: Scissors, Black Fat Pen (Edding 3000), Tape, Special Tape for Number sticking on shirts
OPTIONAL For outdoors:
– Foldable table for outdoors
– blankets for the grass
– forks, spoons and knives for food
– a car to drive there or transport things, i also used Uber & Bolt
Creating accounts to promote & finding contacts
- To collect feedback or do dry runs, you can use forms.google.com from drive.google.com (You can add a message in the settings to personalize it a bit https://imgur.com/a/fNKsrvj)
IMPORTANT NOTE: This is not the software or the way we organize the events, later more on that.
- facebook ads account to run ads! (we never did but you could do it)
- eventbrite.com (free)
- meetup.com (pay for group)
- couchsurfing.org (was free before, now paid)
- friendseek.com (free)
- internations.org (free, you need to email them)
- 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
- Local churches
- Platforms to post second hand stuff, sell or buy (ie. put the FREE tickets giveaway there)
- 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
- Bloom or similar
- Shpock, ebay or similar
- Instagram! (for 24h story)
- TikTok! (short teaser seconds)
- 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 / wechat
- Optional: sign up to livestream platforms (facebook already has, twitch & youtube would be optional)
Venues: finding (researching) and booking them ahead of time
- 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
Finding staff that is motivated and willing (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
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 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
- feedback on the website
- Did you just move here? – Raise your hand!
- Who of you came to find new friends? – Raise your hand!
Prepare the after party
Scout for good places to go after the event with Staff
Speed Friending Software to use
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 laws and regulations 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?
Designing and preparing welcome packages
- 50 to 200 pieces – you never know
- buy strong paper 180g A4 letter
- Print papers for the event, follow guide here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeeTESVRrzqHOwDbm7PztTiwjt5Ey7cI0
- Next : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQrRA2FL8ls
- The most recent (up to date print is here including the script.google.com): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qNJFm2Td4JbwQ0QXoBzYPre81fO65Ip-heu4SPsQ6Do/edit?usp=sharing
Finding media contacts and newspapers
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, your Speed Friending event needs a massive amount of work, finding venues, writing contents and putting them online, searching for partners and many more Eventful things and topics, tasks that await you, find out below in our table of contents the todos
(Click a bulletpoint to jump ↓ to the section in the article)
- Post the event ONLINE
- Post the event OFFLINE
- OPTIONAL: Run an ad on facebook ads to promote the event
- Let Media/PR know that they can come and be there to report
- Start befriending 10-20 people / day on couchsurfing, friendseek and other platforms
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
- 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 get things done for that 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
- 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!
- 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.
A 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: IN WORK
The old version (don’t click as it is very cluncky and a deprecated 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:
- 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 badly
- 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!
Do something 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
And don’t forget the “International Friendship Day” as an Organizer, you can’t miss that one!
Here a video showcasing the switching technique of rows and how the People need to move:
Conclusion + Press release
Enjoy your first event, nothing needs to be rushed, make mistakes and learn along the day