Our team spent days planning our Saturday Speed-Friending event on 6th April – from choosing the venue (we had the upstairs just for Who Londoners) and designing a fun Icebreaker Guide for each person, to devising the free welcome drink menu and sourcing lovely gold-trimmed drink tokens.
Our event survey showed that 89% were pleased they came to our first Saturday Speed-Friending event (just a few found it a little too busy and noisy with all the conversations going on and the moving round). Have a look at the feedback at the end of this blog post.
Speed-Friending has a different set of rules to Speed-Dating and clearly has different purposes too. So the plan of action to get the event live went as follows….
• We needed two long tables for the event to work properly – you wouldn’t have met everyone at the event with one table due to the way we all needed to move round to meet new people.
• Only one person stayed seated the entire Speed-Friending, which was a must. Everyone else on both sides of the table moved on one seat every 3 minutes in the direction of our large paper bold black arrows on the table in front of you. That way each person got to have a new partner on the opposite side of the table every time the bells rang to say time was up with your current person (a bit like a talking conveyor belt!). Had only people one side of the table moved, you would have chatted to just half the attendees. (To give you an example, with Speed-Dating all the men are on one side and they each move a seat while the women opposite remain where they are. Our event is for making friendships, so you need to get the chance to meet everyone at the event rather than half the people like in Speed-Dating).
• If there were empty seats because of latecomers, those seats had to be ignored. You had to move on to the next previously used seat. Otherwise the logistics wouldn’t work. You would not meet every single person if some were using these seats and some were skipping them out!
• We realised that sometimes it seemed a bit hard to stop chatting after the 3 minute bell ringing, but that was part of the fun and we needed to move round on time to ensure everyone could meet each other. So we increased this to 4 minutes and also had slightly longer for the move to the next seat and getting settled again.
We’d love to do it all again and so would you!
What did attendees like about this event and what were their comments?
“Chance to meet people and make new friends.”
“The opportunity to meet with a range of people who attend Who London events.”
“I know this was the first of such events and there is clearly some tweaking to be done. However, everyone was really friendly and 7 of us went to dinner afterwards and formed a WhatsApp group! So it was a worthwhile pursuit for me. Thanks for organising it.”
“That it was a movable feast. People were mostly open and available. There was potential.”
“Meeting a lovely crowd of people.”
“Keep up the good work, a very enjoyable afternoon with a very good selection of people.”
“The opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, who also want to make new friends.”
“Friendly welcome and atmosphere. Met some nice people and had some good conversations.”
“Nice atmosphere, smashing lot of attendees, interesting conversations but perhaps not quite enough time allocated for each chat.”
“The opportunity to meet new interesting people in a relaxed setting.”
“It was great fun meeting so many interesting people.”
“Lovely people. Very relaxed.”
“I met some lovely people and enjoyed talking. I have never attended an event like this. Totally out of my comfort zone but very enjoyable.”
“The people I did get to meet were very sociable and I would/will attend other events.”
“The emails/information send prior to the event were very good and clear.”
***With this super feedback we are planning a repeat Speed-Friending event – please note there are limited seats for these types of events.***
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