Internet Dating Conference Review
It was a chilly three days in Miami where about 400 people attended iDate, the Internet Dating Conference, along with the Social Networking Conference. Unfortunately, I didn’t check weather.com before packing and snuck two bikinis in my suitcase. Upon arrival to Miami I was stunned to see people bundled up in their parkas. It was a cold wave and we felt like we were in Alaska.
However, it was an informative few days of meeting and greeting online dating executives about the latest trends in the industry. I came early and attended a pre-conference session led by Mark Brooks, Principal Consultant of Courtland-Brooks and editor of the Online Personals Watch. Brooks is the king of statistics in the Internet industry and gave an in-depth presentation to the crowd. I learned that there are 92 million singles in the U.S. just waiting to try Internet dating. After attending the pre-conference introduction to the online dating business, guests were treated to a cocktail reception at Monty’s Raw Bar in South Beach.
On the first official day at the Miami conference, our speakers included Mandy Ginsberg, General Manager of Match.com USA along with Dr. Helen Fisher, Chief Scientific Advisor for Chemistry.com. Fisher spoke about her newly published book, Why Him? Why Her?: Finding Real Love BY Understanding Your Personality Type.
Marcus Frind, founder of Plenty of Fish, who is on the cover of this month’s Inc. Magazine, spoke to the crowd about the free online dating model at POF and answered many questions. The evening ended with a party at the infamous Nikki Beach where matchmakers, technology folks, authors, and Internet dating industry executives mingled.
On the final day of the dual conference, I attended a session at the Social Networking Conference on Sales and Marketing 2.0: How to win in the Facebook Era. In the afternoon, there was a lively final panel debate from those in the know including Marcus Frind of POF, Mark Brooks from Online Personal Watch, Martin Byish of Make Friends Online, Ravit Abelman of OmniDate, Sam Moorcroft of ChristianCafe.com, and Dan Abelon of SpeedDate.com.
I left shortly afterwards for the airport and unfortunately missed the after-party event held at the Skybar. And the verdict is…..the online dating industry is continuing to grow and in tough economic times, people are flocking to Internet dating sites. Outside of the success of the free site, Plenty of Fish, the largest growth is in the niche online dating sites. Interested in trying one out? Check out the Dating Community at CyberDatingExpert.com for some suggestions.