Most speed dating events match people at random, and participants will meet different "types" that they might not normally talk to in a club.
On the other hand, the random matching precludes the various cues, such as eye contact, that people use in bars to preselect each other before chatting them up.
Other studies found speed-dating data useful as a way to observe individual choices among random participants.
Furthermore, issues such as religion, previous marriages, and smoking habits were found to play much less of a role than expected.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It also found that dialogue concerning travel resulted in more matches than dialogue about films.