Men and women are rotated to meet each other over a series of short "dates" usually lasting from three to eight minutes depending on the organization running the event.
At the end of each interval, the organizer rings a bell, clinks a glass, or blows a whistle to signal the participants to move on to the next date.
Because the matching itself happens after the event, people do not feel pressured to select or reject each other in person.
On the other hand, feedback and gratification are delayed as participants must wait a day or two for their results to come in.
Specific age range based on gender is a common restriction for events.
Contact information cannot be traded during the initial meeting, in order to reduce pressure to accept or reject a suitor to his or her face.
There are many speed dating events now in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.
It also found that dialogue concerning travel resulted in more matches than dialogue about films.
In a 2012 study, researchers found that activation of specific brain regions while viewing images of opposite-sex speed dating participants was predictive of whether or not a participant would later pursue or reject the viewed participants at an actual speed dating event.
The time limit ensures that a participant will not be stuck with a boorish match for very long, and prevents participants from monopolizing one another's time.