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At the end of the event participants submit to the organizers a list of who they would like to provide their contact information to.

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Men and women are rotated to meet each other over a series of short "dates" usually lasting from three to eight minutes depending on the organization running the event.At the end of each interval, the organizer rings a bell, clinks a glass, or blows a whistle to signal the participants to move on to the next date.Requirements for each event vary with the organizer.Specific age range based on gender is a common restriction for events.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.

There have been several studies of the round-robin dating systems themselves, as well as studies of interpersonal attraction that are relevant to these events.

Other studies found speed-dating data useful as a way to observe individual choices among random participants.

The largest speed dating company in Australia is Fastlife. Several online dating services offer online speed dating where users meet online for video, audio or text chats.

Hurrydate was acquired by Spark Networks (Jdate/Christian Mingle). The advantage of online speed dating is that users can go on dates from home as it can be done from any internet enabled computer.

Unlike many bars, a speed dating event will, by necessity, be quiet enough for people to talk comfortably. Participants can come alone without feeling out of place; alternatively it is something that women who like to go out in groups can do together.