By Jenny Berg Posted February 11, 2011, 10:00 AM EST
CHICAGO On Tuesday night, Groupon—the Chicago-based Web site that offers daily deals in 500 markets—partnered with Players Sports Club and Hurrydate.com to host a big singles event at Paris Club. And not just big—the biggest. Based on its 414 attendees, the flirting frenzy was named the “Largest Speed Dating Event” by an on-site representative from Guinness World Records.
Passes to the event were available, of course, on Groupon, and organizers capped ticket sales at 250 for men and 250 for women. To achieve the record, each attendee was required to participate in at least 20 three-minute dates. Intermissions were not allowed, guests could not date the same person twice, and each participant had to keep a log. The greatest logistical challenge of pulling it all off, according to Groupon event manager Noelle Provencial, was “working with the space to create a flow of daters that was easy and clearly defined.”
Planners opted to seat guests across from one another at long communal tables. While women stayed put for the event's duration, men changed seats each time M.C. Showbiz Shelley announced the end of a three-minute interval. The evening concluded with a cocktail reception.
Groupon co-hosted its first singles event last August in New York, and “this year, we wanted to host a similar event right here in Chicago to give some of our [local] singles the chance to meet someone special in time for Valentine's Day,” Provencial said.
The bash was also intended to bring awareness to Grouspawn, the company's new dating site. In terms of hosting future singles' events, “you never know,” Provencial said. “Our events are widely varied, so there's a chance we would do another one.”