Every year in January, the online dating industry gathers to talk about the latest trends in online dating and mobile dating.
Held in Miami Beach this year, Internet Dating Conference organizer Marc Lesnick curated a list of dating experts, matchmakers, online security experts, dating sites, and mobile dating apps for the 43rd Internet Dating Conference.
One of the highlights of the conference is the iDate Awards, which were held at the Deauville hotel in Miami Beach.
For the second year in a row, Tinder walked away with the “Best Mobile Dating App” of the year, while Zoosk won Best Dating Site of the year. eHarmony scored with two iDate Awards, one for “Best Marketing Campaign” and another for “Most Innovative Company.”
Grant Langston from eHarmony accepted their two awards and Kelly Steckelberg, CEO of Zoosk accepted the award on behalf of Zoosk.
Other awards went to Happn, who was featured in our Mobile Apps to Use in 2016, for “Best Up & Coming Dating Site” and the “Best New Technology” award went to Dating Factory.
Some of the conference highlights included an opening Keynote from Steckelberg, where she informed the crowd that online dating is now a 2.2 billion dollar industry. “When the first dating sites came online, there were only 14% of adults on the Internet,” said Steckelberg. Today, 90% of adults are on the Internet. Most users are on multiple sites and dating apps, sometimes up to five at a time.
Mark Brooks, an industry consultant presented his 2015 Year in Review, which is always one of my favorite sessions. Brooks cited an eHarmony survey, where they found that meeting online lead to happier marriages. For those who met online, 45% met through Internet dating and 35% met through social networking and chat rooms.
Television was a big theme at this year’s conference, where producer’s of Carmelia Ray’s upcoming show, Mom vs. Matchmaker were highlighted in a panel. Another television panel included Damona Hoffman, who is a dating coach in Black Love on FYI, along with Devyn Simone, who is the co-host of Love at First Swipe on TLC. I held a session on Managing the Headlines: How to Get Press, filled with tips on how to respond to stories in the news about online and mobile dating.
There was a lively talk with Mark Brooks and Michael Egan, CEO of JDate to discuss Spark Networks.
All in all it was a love fest for those in attendance.
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Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s been helping singles find love online for over 20 years. For dating advice, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter and find out how Irresistible Profiles will help you find your dream date.
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