The second Worldwide Matchmakers Conference held in Weehawken, N.J. completely and thoroughly did its job. Focus throughout each of the conference sessions was on the two elements which are essential to running a successful modern day personal introduction agency: business systems, which serve as the critical backbone and skeletal support for the small operator, and at long last, the human elements – the client service components, the psychology of relating and coupling in today’s complex society, and the love-enabling aspects of a dating expert’s work. These high-touch components serve as the heart and the blood flow, the lubricants which enable these professionals to cause change in clients’ lives.
Love is a verb, after all. At least it can be a verb, and I think it should be a verb, especially in the business of dating.
I’ve been integrally involved with dating industry conferences since 1990 – you name it, I’ve been there, and although I have left each of these meetings with legal pads bursting with the latest in industry stats, marketing techniques, and new business strateties, there has always been for me a feeling of something missing. Something important was lacking for me whenever dating service owners and operators would gather.
As an observer at prior dating service conferences, to me it felt a bit square or sterile, more like an assembly of hospital administrators and investors, the concern and focus being first and foremost with the important business of driving profits for their companies through the luring of patients -- lots and lots of patients, who would show up for me on slide presentations as merely numbers on a graph. A hotel patron passing by a typical dating industry conference room might guess that the business owners in the room might be in the fitness industry or the weight loss field or maybe time share investments. In attending these meetings, I found myself always asking, “Where is the heart? Why is it that so little time, energy, money, or care is invested on the human element within the dating industry?”
My guess is that every hotel guest at the Sheraton Suites on the Hudson over Sept. 12-14 was plenty aware that they were sharing their hotel with 100 passionate, enthusiastic dating enthusiasts. The lobby bar, the elevators, the ladies’ lounge (can’t tell you about the men’s) were alight with banter, emotion, contagious laughter, and the kind of hugging and bonding that is rarely seen at professional business meetings.
The Matchmakers Conference has become an oasis for dating industry professionals who are fascinated with and thoroughly consumed by and committed to… this thing called love. Easily identified throughout each session was an undercurrent of care and concern for the single relationship-seekers who fuel the industry -- the clients who are trusting introduction agencies with their dollars, their faith, their confidence, and their hope that they will indeed find love and create partnership in their lives.
Several topics dominated the agenda and the hallway buzz: Business principles and marketing strategies, client service practices, technology solutions, and the development of dating coaching guidance and support for personal matchmaking clients. And why not? After all, we are paid for helping people engage, relate, bond, and love each other. There was plenty of walking that talk for three solid days of what we are now calling the Matchmakers Annual Love Fest.
Bottom line, the Matchmakers Conference was a magnificently heart-opening event, catapulting the personal matchmaking and dating coaching industries into a brighter future both for the small business owners at the helms of their ships, and indeed for the consumer, the single love seeker who looks to these professionals to help find, keep and nurture this thing called love.
The next Love Fest? Fall of ‘09 – Oct 23-24-25, again in Weehawken, N.J. -- our sweet little love nest on the Hudson. Save the dates.