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The truth about Tinder

Tuesday July 22, 2014

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A few weeks ago we conducted a survey. The goal was to find out what our clients want from a dating event in 2014 and where the dating market in general is heading. We had a great response and around a thousand people kindly took the time to fill it out, so a big thank you to those that did.

Much of what we discovered is going to form the basis of our new events programme so you’ll have to wait and see the results of that over the coming weeks. If you’re on our mailing list you’ll be hearing all about that soon enough. If you’re not you can sign up on our homepage or just keep an eye on our event listings.

Anyway, I digress. One of the survey questions we asked was about the other methods our clients are using to find a match alongside speed dating events and singles parties. We already knew that most people try several means when looking for someone to date but we wanted to dig a little deeper.

In the interests of confidentiality we can’t give you many details but here’s a rundown to give you a flavour of some our findings.

Our findings

We established that just under 50% of our respondents were using paid online dating services in addition to attending our events. We expected that to be higher, and in previous survey years it has been. Of the online daters we surveyed 47% rated their chances of finding someone as ‘fair’ and only 6% rated their chance of meeting someone a ‘high’.  This would indicate a certain fall from grace for online dating as a whole. We all know a couple that got together using online but in practice it seems it’s not working well for a lot of people. A whopping 22% rated their chances as ‘no chance whatsoever’ which is rather damming. People also talked about ‘rebilling issues’ and ‘scammers’ and the keyword ‘time consuming’ came up time and time again.

Dating events and speed dating fared well in comparison. Almost 60% of respondents rated their chances of meeting someone at an organised, paid dating event as either ‘high’ or ‘good’. We were heartened by this and it certainly vindicates our own experiences in terms of pounds and hours spent. Dating events clearly yield the best results for professionals in our market.

When it comes to meeting people it’s often seen as easier to dabble with online dating but it seems the popular view is dating events work far better and results come faster.

The truth about Tinder

We had to ask about Tinder. This mobile app, which first arrived on the scene in 2012 has subsequently attracted upwards of 10 million active users across the world it’s something of a phenomenon. Everyone has heard of it and of our sample some 50% of people had downloaded and used the app. We’d expected a high level of take up amongst our respondents so this was no surprise. In fact we’d expected to see 75%.

What also surprised us was how Tinder was viewed as a medium for match making. When asked ‘Please rate how you view your chances of meeting someone to have a relationship with Tinder’ only 2% rated the chance as ‘high’. 6.5% rated the chance as ‘good’. The surprise came when only 31% rated the chance as ‘fair’ and a huge 60.5% of respondents rated their chances of meeting someone on Tinder as ‘No chance whatsoever’.

It seems that despite the unbelievable and global media storm that Tinder has created and it’s staggering adoption amongst users the technology isn’t yet hitting the mark as a viable means for people to meet. At least where Londoners are concerned, that is.

It’s early days yet for Tinder. Indeed the biggest hurdle for anyone building a dating business of any kind is attracting users and customers. They’ve done that and they’ve got users in spades. These results do indicate that they got some work to do, however. They have the financial backing to iterate the product and we’ll watch what they do with interest.

In the meantime however we’ll keep running dating events in London. We, and our clients seem to know how well they work.



The beauty of Speed Dating London lies in its no-nonsense approach. You take an equal number of single girls and guys, put them in a room and give them a few minutes to chat with every other member of the opposite sex.

When you get there

Original speed dating events in London normally begin at 7.30pm. You will need to register with our hosts and to begin with they will issue you with a score sheet. This will help you to keep track of the singles that you would like to meet again and perhaps go on a date with. After a short period of mingling, your host for the evening who will run through detailed instructions and give you your starting position if you are a guy or table for the event if you are a girl.

Meet & Mingle

A London speed dating event is split into two halves, each lasting around an hour, there will be an interval at half time of about 15 minutes for speed dating London. You will have between 4 and 5 minutes with each person, after which you need to tick a box on your score sheet - "yes, I would like to meet this person again" or "no. Thanks but no thanks". Or "friend" if you'd like to get to know them platonically. Make sure that you do this after each date to keep track. Afterwards there is an opportunity for everyone to meet and mingle informally - this is often where the real action begins, so make sure you don't disappear too quickly!

Complete your score sheet

After the event you simply tick who you liked on the Original Dating website and the site works about your matches automatically. If the dates you have ticked as a "yes" have reciprocated you have a match. You will be able to view the first names and message them via our site online without revealing your email address until you are ready to. You'll be having proper first dates in no time.