There is something reassuring about meeting people at a speed dating event.
The instant impression someone makes when you meet face-to-face is not possible to replicate in any other way. Sure, you can get the gist of what someone is about over the phone or perhaps in an email thread, but the nonverbal signals we pick up in person cannot be outdone when it comes to taking the measure of someone.
In a world that embraces enhanced social media personas and various other ways of applying filers to touch up one’s appearance to the outside world, meeting face to face seems old fashioned.
But here's the thing. Pre pandemic at least, real life speed dating events and dating events were surging in popularity. It seemed that people were missing the personal touch in ever more digital world and we were struggling to cope with the ever-growing demand for our analogue services.
Then as we all know, covid hit and instantly the government’s response to the virus closed us down.
As a business faced with this situation, you can do one of a few things. You can either batten down the hatches, conserve, sit tight and wait until the storm passes.
The alternative is to innovate and carry-on business in other ways. We went for this option and innovate we did. It did not take much imagination to realise we could crudely emulate the speed dating experience via Zoom, and this rapidly became our continuity plan and it’s worked to a point.
Zoom has its limitations so we deferred to our Kris, our technical wizard and commissioned a host of bespoke updates to our site. As often happens when you start making changes mission creep doon sets in.
Soon we were coming up with all manner of improvements, refinements, and features. One of these idea was our take on an online dating, a product we’re calling Mixeo*.
Now, there’s nothing new or revolutionary about online dating. People think it came about in the 90s but it’s first commercial incarnation dates back to the 1960s when a lady called Joan Ball set up the St James Computer Dating Service using a room-sized IBM and punch cards to match people together.
Our motivation for Mixeo was to create a hub that sits between all our events with the purpose to add value to clients experience with us. By adding this feature our customers now have a way to connect with, not only those people at their chosen event but also others at previous or future events too. To us it was a missing link in the chain.
Online dating has a bad reputation, but our service is different because no contact is allowed unless people have mutually matched – IE both expressed that they like each other and second that they are paid subscribers. We make it inexpensive, but this small fee tends to filter out the time wasters.
Time will tell if we made the right call, but early adoption and feedback has been great. Check out Mixeo here.
Our innovation doesn’t stop with Mixeo Online Dating. We’ll be releasing lots more features that will further enhance what we can do in the video dating space but that for another blog.
*Eagle eyed Original Dating watchers will remember the name Mixeo. We built an app of this name in 2014 but retired it a few years later when our website functionality was improved. We like the name so we decided to dust it off for this feature.