Con Speed Dating: An Experience at C2E2
Speed dating. Just the thought of it can invoke anxiety and sweaty palms, but some comic conventions have capitalized on the fact that a lot of attendees have similar interests, which is genius. Luckily, C2E2 along with Nerd Nite hosted such an event, and here is my experience!
Let me start off by saying that I am incredibly reserved. Meeting new people is definitely not a strong suit for me, and neither is dating, so when I saw the Nerd Nite speed dating opportunity coordinated by the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2), I immediately thought it was a great idea for some people, just not me. Not my thing. But as an adult, I realize that sometimes we have to go outside our comfort zone and try some new things. And if I can meeting 15 dudes in 90 minutes and try to make a connection, why not?
I must also make clear that although I always planned about sharing my experience, I did not attend the session just to write about it. I legitimately have an interest in geek culture and the people that make it up. I wanted to meet people; not necessarily for dating, but definitely just to meet some cool people with similar interests, and challenge myself. And now that it is over, I can say that it was SUCH a fun experience, and I would definitely do it again.
For just $5 and the day’s admission to con, attendees could pre-register to participate, and there were multiple sessions for both hetero coupling and LGBT coupling. I chose the first hetero session, and it sold out quite quickly (there were only 15 male and 15 female slots). Once I arrived, they had a name tag made for me, and gave me two sheets of paper. The first had all the names of the guys along with two columns–one for “interested” and the other for “not interested.” As we went along, we checked the appropriate column for each date. The second sheet was for our own use; we could take notes, write descriptions, whatever we wanted. The room was made up of 15 sets of chairs facing each other, which seemed a bit intimidating at first, but as soon as the room started to fill up, it was actually not too bad (and this is coming from someone who does not like to have her bubble invaded). We had 3 minutes with each date.
I won’t go into the specifics about the guys that I met, but they were all a lot of fun! All of them seemed to be very friendly, and most of them had similar interests to me. Some were in cosplay (as it was welcome at the event), and most of the others were decked out in their geeky gear. We had no prompts on what to talk about, but most of my conversations revolved around the con, stuff we bought or were planning on buying, panels we were looking forward to, and what our favorite TV shows were. Very little of it was the “normal” date stuff like talking about our jobs or our ages; conversation was very natural with each person as we generally had similar interests. I was surprised to learn how many of the guys regularly go to cons, and also that they feel like C2E2 is their favorite convention (it’s mine too). As the evening went on, 3 minutes went faster and faster, and by the end of the session, it felt like there was barely even time for introductions.
About an hour after the session ended, I received my email with mutual matches, that is, the guys that chose “interested” in me and I also chose “interested” in them. I ended up with only one mutual match, but it just so happens that the guy was really awesome! He was interesting and seemed interested in what I had to say which doesn’t always happen with people that you might even think you have a connection with. I am hoping to reach out to him so we can continue our fairly deep conversation about POC characters in pop culture.
Overall, this was a surprisingly good experience. I got some time to work on my social skills and got to meet some cool people and learn about their interests. I would highly recommend convention speed dating to anyone who thinks they might be interested but aren’t sure what to expect. It was definitely a fun time and full of very fun people!
Erin has reviewed many shows over the years including Orphan Black, iZombie, Penny Dreadful, and Killing Eve. She has a keen eye for on-screen chemistry, and loves to tackle the subject of casting. She is also our horror aficionado. She live tweets shows, and loves to share her feelings. Erin has a BA in History, and likes to analyze the lore behind historical fiction. She attends San Diego Comic Con every year and has also attended C2E2 and WonderCon.
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