Online dating has become an increasingly popular way of finding a romantic partner, but users of such sites often complain that profile photos are misleading and that some people are too shy to meet in person.
In response, Match.com has launched a companion business called Stir to host parties where singles can meet and mingle.
Stir will offer mixers that come along with monthly membership and, for an extra fee, activity-specific mixers like cooking classes or wine-tastings. The company is expected to helm 2,000 to 3,000 singles parties a year, with 24 events planned in June and another 70 in September.
Its biggest advantage is that it can invite people to parties based on their Match.com user profiles and preferences — so if you live in Los Angeles and want to meet only people within your age range who have kids, Stir could ensure everyone there fits that criteria.
“Getting people in front of each other is so important,” said Match.com president Mandy Ginsberg. She predicts Stir will be the largest singles event company in the world, potentially serving half a million people a year. In addition, since the parties will take place in city bars, she hopes they may even even spur local economies and revitalize downtown areas.