Fast friends: speed dating taking off in Perth’s Hills

Make haste while the sun shines: Business partners Yvonne Fletcher and Nicole Airay toast their speed dating launch in Kalamunda.
Make haste while the sun shines: Business partners Yvonne Fletcher and Nicole Airay toast their speed dating launch in Kalamunda.

SPEED dating for single people in search of romance is taking off in the Hills after a pilot event indicated face-to-face meetings are where friendships are born.

NY Event organisers Nicole Airay and Yvonne Fletcher said they had no idea their first event for singles aged 32 to 49 would be a hit.

“Speed dating has been around in Perth for many years, yet not in Kalamunda,” Ms Airay. “It involves up to five-minute conversations, one-on-one, across a table in a comfortable setting.

“The first event at the Best Drop Tavern last month was a huge success as it forged many new friendships – an ideal we want to promote.”

They say many people are uncomfortable with the idea of internet dating and prefer to meet in person for companionship and in some cases, ultimately love.

“We strongly believe people are feeling a lack of personal connection and we want to assist by providing a bridge to friendships,” Ms Fletcher said.

“Speed dating is very fast and fun; it’s like going on eight blind dates.

“If someone likes a person, we encourage them to tick ‘yes’ on the secret ballot sheet to continue the conversation…there is nothing to lose and potentially a friend to gain.

“We find many people stay on to chat after the event finishes irrespective of who they match with.”

Conversation starters are part of the package to turn a first impression into a lasting one within a five-minute timeframe.

“At the end of the event, ballot sheets are reviewed and only ‘matches’ are informed of their successful pairing with contact details emailed to follow up,” Ms Airay said.

Yvonne and Nicole met at Spring Road Kindergarten last year when their children attended; both are active members of the kindy’s fundraising team.

The matchmakers spotted a need for single, separated and divorced people to make new friends close to home and together they launched Perth Hills Speed Dating.

Ms Fletcher researched speed dating and disenchanted with the impersonal approach of ‘virtual connections’, she spotted a local need for authentic social interaction.

With a background in marketing and public relations, she was the ‘ideal match’ for business partner and friend Nicole Airay, who described herself as an ‘amateur matchmaker’ best known for organising market events in Kalamunda.

Nicole and Yvonne are planning a myriad of single meet ups for people in the Hills and surrounding areas.

Events will be held monthly in the upstairs function room at The Best Drop in Kalamunda for different age demographics and interests.

An over 60s afternoon tea will be hosted at Elevated Grounds Coffeehouse from 2pm on Sunday, August 27.

For other upcoming events, visit https://www.facebook.com/nyeventsperth/ for meet ups in Kalamunda, Mundaring and Roleystone.