Monday, August 29, 2011

CC's Largest Speed Dating Event Ever!

What do you do when you plan on 45 people to participate in speed dating, then approximately 45 additional people walk in and want to play? PUNT!

That's what happened Friday night at the Cache' Connections Christian Dating Redefined Conference and Expo in Barrington Hills. True to their nature, many singles did not register for the speed dating event that was added later in the planning phases, although the web page and each of the four emails sent last week asked people to pre-register. It turned out that literally everyone wanted to participate, much to our surprise. So while I was busy emceeing the stage time, Kim was frantically configuring the speed dating. After hearing Dr. Simpson talk about the importance of being authentic in dating, I told the guests, "I'm going to be authentic with you. Because many of you didn't pre-register for speed dating, we're short on waivers, connection cards, and tables. But we have decided to work everyone in the best we can, so that everyone can play!"

So we scrounged up some 3 x 5 cards for connection cards and started placing people into groups. It turned out to be pretty casual as we rounded up all the guests in the middle of the expo area and had them stand around tall tables for the introductions - no time to sit down and stand up!

There were some experienced CC speed daters, along with some first-timers. Here are a few comments we heard from the guests who braved Friday night's speed dating activity:

"It was a lot of fun ~ you should think about having these more often! :)"

"It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be."

"I thought I'd give it a shot since everyone else is."

Despite a few bumps, the event was a huge success. The guests enjoyed visiting the vendors and signing up for prizes and engaging in games such as "most kissable lips contest" and a yo-yo contest. There were proper oooohh's, aaahhhh's, nods and chuckles during the showing of the Christian Dating Redefined DVD, and guests were very encouraged when Cache' Couple Lisa and Les gave a short talk about how they connected through the website and are now in an intentional dating relationship. Thanks Lisa and Les for braving this challenge! Your simple story really did encourage some members and future members.

What's most exciting about these events is actually rather subtle ... it's the small groups of people who continue to stand around and chat while we are packing up. They can't quite bare to leave and maybe haven't gotten up the nerve to make plans or exchange contact information. Sometimes we see a new duo walking out together :) We pray for possible connections, and congratulate all the new comers for stepping out to the "unknown." You survived!

Have a great week!

Cache' Connections
(photo is not actually from this event)


Anonymous said...

I am uncomfortable with speed dating, even if everyone is supposedly Christian. I don't want to give out my contact information to someone I have talked to for a few minutes at most and don't really know at all. Just my 2 cents.

amystreasures said...

Just give out your email address then. When I met my ex we exchanged email addresses that night. I don't remember when we exchanged phone numbers. But we emailed first. And we didn't meet at speed dating, but at a Christian coffee house.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to clarify my comment about not being comfortable giving out my contact information. Yes, I am concerned about giving out my contact information to a stranger, but I also don't really like speed dating to begin with. I have tried it, and I won't be trying it again. I didn't feel like I could get to know anyone well enough at the event to say that I was interested in them, which is what giving them a connection card is saying. I would also be excluding people, too, which I would feel bad about, but I certainly wouldn't want to give a connection card to everyone.