Original Dating has been organising top quality speed dating events and parties at venues across London since 2003 and we’re proud of the fantastic response we’ve had from our clients over the years.
Our events have resulted in a colossal number of first dates, long term relationships, flings, weddings, babies - the whole gambit of dating related goodies. It’s a track record we’re proud of and it’s what we set out to do. It’s also been an absolute blast for all of us involved.
In the intervening years Original Dating has matured and become a larger and more complicated business than it probably appears at first glance.
As a company, we’ve steadily developed the skills, staffing and in-house technology to take us to the next stage and in mid-2018 we decided to trial running events outside of our wonderful capital city.
Unlike many of today’s start-ups, we grew slowly and organically and as a result we’ve never needed any external financing. This kind of steady growth is out of favour these days, but it’s suited us well.
Speed Dating didn’t exist in the UK before 2003 and many of us thought it would be a flash in the pan. 15 years on, that’s clearly not the case and we’re selling more tickets to more events than ever before. We now have around 10 event hosts, three full time staff and a host of freelance service providers that keep us running well.
At one point, we worried about the effect dating apps would have on our market. Fortunately, their presence has served to reduce the stigma attached to organised dating and markedly increased our potential client base. Since the explosion of the swipey apps, dating has grown considerably as a category. So, here’s to Tinder!
We have a broad range of competitors, and whist there are some long established players in the market, we felt that 2018 is the right time to take our brand nationwide.
Our first foray out of town took us to Chelmsford. We had a hunch there was a market there and quickly established a venue and put together a marketing campaign. Sure enough, the bookings came, and our first ever non-London speed dating events were on the map.
There are several challenges to overcome when you take an established business that’s built around one city and try to turn it into one that can serve many places. You must be careful not to ruin the good thing you’ve got going on in your main location whist simultaneously ensuring you don’t appear, in our case, too London centric.
Soon afterwards we arrived in Tunbridge Wells. A smaller location than we’d have usually chosen but we knew there was interest there, found a cracking venue and the events have quickly become steadily established.
We’re now also serving the speed daters of Oxford, Brighton, Derby and Southend too, so our learning phase is coming to an end and we plan to start scaling up from here.
Of course, expanding a business is a huge learning curve and we’ve had some challenges to face along the way but notwithstanding, things are moving in the right direction.
Judging by the hysterical and downright bizarre behaviour of some of our competitors lately, we might be rattling a few cages along the way but that’s to be expected when you disrupt the status quo in an established market.
We’re loving this next chapter in the story of Original Dating and we’re excited for the challenge ahead. Watch this space for more news on our developments as they happen.