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Speed dating, as two separate words, is often used as a generic term for similar events.It is not known when speed dating was first carried out, but there were speed dating events in the London area in the mid-1970s.Usually advance registration is required for speed dating events.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.While over 100 companies in the US offered speed dating through online registration during the growing of the Internet, between 20 three large speed dating companies emerged with a national footprint in the US, with events in over 50 US cities: Hurrydate, 8Minute Dating and Pre-Dating.In the UK, there are two companies that run events in more than twenty cities: Speed Dater and Slow Dating.Online dating participants, in contrast, only find a compatible match with 1 in 100 or fewer of the profiles they study.

A 2006 study in Edinburgh, Scotland showed that 45% of the women participants in a speed-dating event and 22% of the men had come to a decision within the first 30 seconds.

The largest speed dating company in Australia is Speed Dating Australia Pty Ltd.

They were the first to hold Speed Dating Events in Australia in 2004 and still operate to this present day.

Specific age range based on gender is a common restriction for events.

Many speed dating events are targeted at particular communities: for example, LGBT people, polyamorists, Some feel that speed dating has some obvious advantages over most other venues for meeting people, such as bars, discotheques, etc.

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