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.
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.
According to the New York Times, participants in speed dating experience an average of 2 in 10 or 3 in 10 matches.
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.
It also found that dialogue concerning travel resulted in more matches than dialogue about films.
Requirement for each event vary with the organizer.