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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.
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.
Because the matching itself happens after the event, people do not feel pressured to select or reject each other in person.
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.
Pre-Dating was acquired by Cupid.com, but eventually became independent again. The disadvantage is people do not actually meet one another.
One of the advantages that speed dating has over online speed dating and online dating in general is that when being face to face with someone, you get a better sense of who they are due to their body language, gestures, tonality and more.
In a 2012 study, researchers found that activation of specific brain regions while viewing images of opposite-sex speed dating participants was predictive of whether or not a participant would later pursue or reject the viewed participants at an actual speed dating event.
Men and women made decisions in a similar manner which incorporated the physical attractiveness and likability of the viewed participants in their evaluation.
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.
A 2005 study at the University of Pennsylvania of multiple Hurry Date speed dating events found that most people made their choices within the first three seconds of meeting.