Speed dating almost always is conducted the same way, with a few variations on the placement of the daters, the time limit and so forth. In most cases, the women sit and remain seated for the duration of the speed-dating event. When a bell or other noise sounds, the men each sit across from a woman of their choice. The couples then have a set amount of time to converse with each other. True to its name, speed dating usually only allows about three to five minutes per "date," so that everyone in the room is allowed an opportunity to mingle. When the bell sounds again, the men get up and move to their right to start a new "date."
At most speed-dating events, a scorecard and pen will be handed to each of the daters. On this scorecard, participants are to score or rate each of their dates for future reference. This is important, since you may meet up to twenty people in one night and may not remember the name of the person you liked the best. Scoring should be done discreetly between dates while the men are moving around. You may score a date on appearance, conversation and even any kind of immediate spark or attraction that you feel toward your date. Just make sure to write down the name of everyone you see to keep your thoughts organized.
While three to five minutes is not much time to delve into deep conversation, it often will yield enough of a first impression so that you can make a judgment on whether or not you and a date would be compatible. However, there are some things that are off-limits to talk about while speed dating. The first is profession. This is because too often a dater will make a snap judgment about a person's job without getting to know the real person. You also are not allowed to talk about where you're from, to rule out those who only want to date someone from their own area. The goal of speed dating is to meet as many people as you can to find a match, so talk about interests, or favorite activities, foods or hobbies.