As we approach the end of the year (oh what a year) it’s always good to reflect and this year more than any other we all have so much to reflect on.
We formed True Dating at the of 2019 and started 2020 off with a really positive swagger. We hosted our first ever speed dating and singles party in January and with decent sized numbers at both events we felt really positive about the upcoming year.
Then in February we hosted our Valentine’s singles party, which as you’d expect for a Friday night on Valentine’s day was packed, possibly due to being full of single people dreading the thought of staying in.
It was a really fun night and from our point of view hugely successful considering it was one of our earliest events. We had over Sixty people attend, got great feedback about the venue and even saw some romance which is always the driving goal behind our events.
As with any new business you are always going to face challenges. We have a small but experienced team working at True Dating and put everything we have into making the brand a success but they say the first year is always the hardest and this is definitely true. Building a brand from scratch, finding great venue’s and hosts, developing strong marketing plans. These are all challenges we faced and embraced and we learnt so much in those first few months. Then a little know known virus occurred…..Coronavirus, you may have heard of it….and everything changed.
From March the country when into lockdown meaning all events had to stop. At the time we thought and hoped it would pass within a month or two. We believed we’d be back up and running by May/June and were already planning our Summer events. Quickly however we realised this wasn’t going to be the case and that any thoughts of fun filled flirty parties with people mixing and having a great time would have to be put on hold.
So, like any good business we adapted. We moved our events online. It was a hard decision at the time as our entire ethos has been to get people offline and meeting IRL again. Our motto “Stop Swiping. Start Dating” was meant to be literal and no matter how easy using an app might be it’s never going to match the excitement and personal touch of meeting people in real life.
However the prospect of being dormant for god knows how long wasn’t an option we wanted to pursue. We knew our competitors would be running online events and as a new business we needed to build our brand and could only do that by doing what we do best, running amazing dating events.
So the online events began and although it was a great way of keeping the company going at times the events felt quite soulless and the opposite of what we created True Dating for. We believe we have the best events in London but this is so much to do with the brilliant hosts we have and the great atmosphere we create at our parties. We make everyone feel included unlike so many of our competitors who just seem to care about getting your money. Trust us we’ve been to enough of these events to know and we really pride ourselves on our customer care.
Rolling on to July and there was finally some positive news as the lockdown was lifted and restrictions started to ease as infections went down and we were finally able to host a parties again, albeit with limited numbers. At each event understandably there was a great atmosphere and excitement as people were just pleased to be mixing again. But to have to do a socially distanced singles party where everyone has to stay seated again limited us to the kind of events we know we can create. But being back out doing real life events was fantastic and we hoped to be back to normal events by Autumn.
More bad news followed from September though as infections and deaths went up again and restrictions came back into force, meaning most of the venues we use had to close or have such tight measures in place that holding a speed dating or singles party just became a logistical nightmare. So we were forced to go back to the online events. We have always been grateful for this option as many other businesses simply don’t have it. But again we felt our strength in hosting real life events could only be used so far online and the same demand just wasn’t there.
And that’s where we currently stand. We have paused all events for December and will start back in January with online events hoping to help people start the new year with a new romance. But hope is on the way. As we write this there is really positive news about a vaccine and although the virus won’t just disappear as we enter a new year we have already started looking at our first real life events of 2021 as early as February. Obviously with Valentine’s day in that month it would be amazing to be able to hold a singles party on that day, even if it was with limited numbers.
We feel really positive that by Spring 2021 we will start to get back to normal and host speed dating and singles parties again. If we have to do them with smaller numbers to start with then so be it, all being well with the vaccine we know that it won’t be too long after that when we can host events at full capacity and not have to worry about bloody socially distancing anymore.
2020 was a challenge for everyone and our hearts go out to you if you have lost someone close to you. We also appreciate how lucky we are as a business to be coming back at all next year as so many other businesses aren’t as lucky and we wish you the best too. Hopefully everyone will reflect on the year and have learnt something about themselves that they can take forward. We certainly know as a business we’ve faced probably the hardest year we will ever face and are still here going strong and optimistic about the future.
We’ve got a lot of time to make up for next year. We aim to host as many events as possible, make them awesome events for everyone attending and hopefully help create some long lasting relationships. We really hope to see you at one of our events in 2021. Stay safe and have a Happy Christmas.
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