There are no name badges, speed dating or cringe-inducing ice-breakers, just a pleasant central London setting and a host on hand to get people talking to each other, introduce you to chaps who he thinks you might particularly get along with, and even keep you company in the unlikely circumstance that you find yourself wanting to be a wallflower.
My role as host is to ensure that guys who know each other already - there are sure to be at least some familiar faces in the room! - don't stay clustered together; this is about meeting new people not just hanging out with your usual crowd!
I decided to launch Charming Social Introductions for the simple reason that I kept hearing the same refrain from (inexplicably still) single friends - that while the myriad online dating sites may have their uses, it's actually really hard to meet guys who you have something in common with, without the burden of expectation that comes with knowing so much about them in advance from their online profile.
Charming Social Introductions brings people together using the most sophisticated match-making algorithm of all, the only one which the internet has yet to replicate - actually knowing people personally.
Even if you're not actively looking for Mr Right I do hope you'll consider coming along - who knows, you might just be in for a pleasant surprise!
To keep the event fresh, the venue for Charming Social Introductions will initially change for each event. The venue for the first event in March was The Audley pub in Mayfair which provided a very convivial, relaxed atmosphere; future venues will be similarly central, stylish and sociable.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What does it cost? Nothing! There’s no charge for attending the event or for being kept informed about CSI. The only charge that might be made is a transparent, per-head contribution to any venue hire costs as some venues require a deposit or minimum spend. However, whenever possible CSI will use venues that don’t charge, making the event completely free.
- Can I bring a friend? If you have another single friend who you think would like to come then do please feel free to invite him, but do let me have his email address so that I can contact him with further information. But please bear in mind that this is an event designed for single gay men - so no girlfriends, straight mates or attached pals please! If you're just nervous about arriving on your own, please don't be - my role is to make you feel welcome and included on the night, so please trust me to do just that!
- Can I see a list of who else is coming before the night? No, I'm afraid not. CSI is designed to bring together guys some of whom will know each other, some of whom won't, and for them to get to know each other through making introductions. Sharing the guest list in advance could make it tempting to check out Facebook/LinkedIn or 'other' profiles (ahem) which is exactly what the event's not about.
- Will there be any speed-dating/match-making activities on the night? I'm glad to say, absolutely not. The evening will be very relaxed and highly sociable, so there'll be no need for cringe-worthy 'games'.
- If you introduce me to someone on the night, does that mean I'm being 'match-made'? Not necessarily. I'll ask you in advance for a couple of fun facts about yourself which I may use to pick out guys I think you might particularly like to meet (or vice versa) but the evening is about making social or even professional connections as much as finding potential dates so no, an introduction doesn't infer any expectations on either party!
- I can't make it for the 6.30 start time, does it matter if I'm not there until later? No problem at all. The sooner you arrive, the more time you'll have to meet people, but the evening has no fixed schedule or agenda so just arrive whenever you can.
Founder, Charming Social Introductions
"Charming Social Introductions, expert mandolin instructions...just leave everything to me!" - Dolly Levi