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.
Speed Dating, as a single word, is a registered trademark of Aish Ha Torah.
Speed dating, as two separate words, is often used as a generic term for similar events.
Each participant is given a number and a scorecard.
The original format involved men sitting along one side of a long table with the women lined up along the other, every few minutes the men moving along one space.
Most speed dating services still operate according to this production line approach however Original Dating events in London and the UK have modified concept to give their clients more space and a generally more stylish environment.
The service is based on an old Jewish tradition: helping young, single Jews meet others in the faith.
This tradition of creating a shidduch, or a match, called for Jewish singles to be kept in the dark about each other until the time for matchmaking came.