Speed dating is a formalized matchmaking process whose purpose is to encourage eligible singles to meet large numbers of new potential partners in a very short period of time.
It was created in 1998 by Antony Beilinsohn (a Los Angeles based television executive) after his Rabbi, Yaacov Deyo, encouraged Antony to conceive of innovative new ways for eligible jewish to meet and marry.
At the end of the event participants submit to the organizers a list of who they would like to provide their contact information to.
If there is a match, contact information is forwarded to both parties.
Pre-Dating was acquired by Cupid.com, but eventually became independent again. The disadvantage is people do not actually meet one another.
According to the New York Times, participants in speed dating experience an average of 2 in 10 or 3 in 10 matches.
Online dating participants, in contrast, only find a compatible match with 1 in 100 or fewer of the profiles they study.
Contact information cannot be traded during the initial meeting, in order to reduce pressure to accept or reject a suitor to his or her face.
There are many speed dating events now in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.