Tuesday, August 06, 2002

'Speed dating'


Meet many in a short time

By Shauna Scott Rhone srhone@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Imagine this: a room full of singles, all there because they're actually interested in meeting other people. No wallflowers, no profilers, no set-up artists ready to shoot down any serious approach.

        But here's the challenge: You have three minutes between ear-piercing Pavlovian whistles to find out everything you can about the person sitting in front of you.

        Three minutes.

        This is the premise behind Progressive Daters (www.progressivedaters.com), a high-speed, high-anxiety, meet your future “whatever,” new millennial type of matchmaking.

        A Cleveland-based takeoff of Speed Dating, last year's singles-place-to-be in New York, Progressive Daters is scheduled to launch in Greater Cincinnati later this month at Gameworks at Newport on the Levee. Each event is age-specific, i.e. Gen-Xers meet with other Gen-Xers and Boomers meet Boomers.

        The beauty of the condensed format, says Daters's vice president Tracy Corpus, is you save:

        Time. You can meet up to 30 people in three hours.

        Money. It costs only a $20 registration fee. The average date costs $50.

        Hassle. You don't have to sit through an agonizingly bad date.

IF YOU GO
  Future Progressive Daters events at Gameworks in Newport on the Levee:
  • Aug. 18 for ages 35-45
  • Aug. 25 for ages 40-55.
  • Sept. 8 for ages 21-33
  To register for an event, go to www.progressivedaters.com.
        “You have nothing to lose,” says Ms. Corpus. “You're gonna have a great time and an instant social life. It's great for the newly single. You'll meet somebody who's there to meet somebody, so you'll start lots of new relationships.”

        Some people sign up for multiple events, only to call back after the first meeting and cancel because someone at the last event worked out, she said.

        Here's how a typical Progressive Date works:

        • Participants get assigned numbers to wear and an informational folder. The folder contains a cheat sheet of questions and what to expect. Forms are available to keep track of the number of the person(s) you want to see again.

        • There's one hour for informal chatting in the crowd.

        • Then, the women take their seats while the men move in one direction every three minutes. Mercifully, there are two 15-minute breaks to rest and regroup and then the circle hopping resumes.

        • Forms are supplied to keep track of the number of the person(s) you want to see again. Completed forms are turned in at the end of the event and an exhausting but fun evening is over.

        • If a man and a woman both say they want to see each other again, the people at Progressive Daters will notify them.

        Ms. Corpus says it's great for shy people and those with busy schedules. The events are age-specific to give groups more experiences in common. A Gen-Xer can't get into the party for the 40-55 year-old crowd and vice versa.

        “Where else can you wear one outfit and meet 30 dates in one night?” she says.



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