This idea came from a Tribe 12 regular. What he pitched was a spin on speed dating where we let people know what they have in common right off the bat. The way it worked was that each person who wanted to attend either had coffee with me or filled out a quick survey telling us about their interests. Then our staff curated personalized icebreakers for every date — so a pair would receive an envelope that said something like “Ciao, David and Sara! Both you traveled to Rome last year”, and, armed with a foolproof first convo, they would head off to the couch or table of their choosing at Smokin’ Betty’s.

One participant told me the next day “I liked the idea of mini-dates of going anywhere you want instead of just structured staying at one table and everyone rotating. Going anywhere in the bar gave it a more relaxed feel. I’ve previously never been a fan of speed dating, but I enjoyed last night’s different approach.” Seven matches came out of this event!