I'm often asked why we, as Original Dating, don't court appearances on TV. The greater dating world is, after all, mad for it.
There are 3 simple answers:
1) We don't need to
2) It undermines what we do
3) It ruins the experience for our clients
Don't get me wrong. This isn't sour grapes. We get approached several times every week by production companies asking us to be talking heads, to film our events or to be part of this or that reality TV show. There is simply no return in it. And I don't just mean financial.
We genuinely enjoy what we do and as such, believe in the integrity of our business. While we're probably the smallest company in terms of employees - there's only five of us - it's this integrity, and you guys of course, that have made us the most successful speed dating company in London.
The most important advertising for speed dating is word of mouth recommendations. Relying on television opportunities means either that a company is not creating enough business through this fundamental medium - raising questions around the quality of what they do - or that they are new and thus lack a pedigree in the industry, perhaps falling prey to one of speed dating's greatest myths, that it's a quick and easy way to make money.
Either way, there is something very wrong.
The last time we were on television was as part of a BBC documentary looking at online dating scams, an issue we felt needed to be aired. Before that we were featured as a segment on a news programme having successfully witnessed the first speed dating marriage in the country as a result of one of our events. That's not people getting married at one of our events. That would just be weird and a practice we leave to The Moonies. It was the first marriage between people that had met while speed dating.
I'm not knocking television as an important advertising medium. It's just that the speed dating world is a complex one in which integrity is essential. Those who rely on being featured on TV leave themselves open to questions surrounding their own integrity and ability to provide quality events.
The old adage that all publicity is good publicity simply isn't true.
We've worked hard for a decade to run fun, relaxed and genuine events for single folk in London. We advertise. Of course we do, but the vast majority of those attending our events are there because they've heard about us from someone else.
So next time you see a speed date company appearing on your television screen, ask yourself why they need to be there. Then chat to a couple of friends and find out who they recommend. And we'll see you soon.
Why not check out our forthcoming events?
WORDS BY JOHN DAVIS