“We will be the largest singles event company in the world,” predicts president Mandy Ginsberg.“We could potentially serve half a million people a year.” She also waxes about spurring local economies and revitalizing downtown areas by bringing customers to the local bars where the gatherings take place.Stir will offer two kinds of events: mixers that come along with monthly membership and activity-specific mixers — a class in mixology or cooking or wine-tasting that attendees will pay extra for.
Also, the dating service is digging deep into its database of 3 million singles, so it can slice and dice the guest list.
If it wanted to host a singles event on the south side of Topeka in which everybody was a single parent between the ages of 30 and 40 with an interest in Shar-Pei breeding, it could do that — all while making sure that the ratio of male to female dog lovers is perfectly balanced.
Many companies have already tried to spin their online presence into a singles meetup business, including Howaboutwe, Grouper and even local public radio stations.
Match.com’s advantage here is the size of its singles pool and the depth of information it has about their preferences.
Match’s VP of Strategy and Analytics Amarnath Thombre says the Stir meet-ups are not in response to recent studies that have questioned the effectiveness of compatibility algorithms such as the one offers but a natural area of development for a company that just wants to get people together.
Nevertheless it seems to suggest that online dating might have found its natural limits; it cannot find a mathematical formula for chemistry.
(MORE: Advice for Online Daters: If You’re a Guy, Don’t Smile) To say the dating company has high ambitions for Stir is an understatement.
Match considers its foray into the offline world the biggest news in its 17 years of existence.
Match.com, one of the largest online dating services, is acquainting itself with the real world via Stir, a new event service that will host up to 3,000 singles parties a year. Online dating, it’s now universally agreed, has its limits.