GenCon Speed Dating Tips From The Guy Who Got 9 Matches

 Editor’s Note: GenCon is coming up quickly and there are tickets available for ladies to get in on the Speed Dating events on Friday.

Click to order tickets if you are a lady aged 21-35, or here if you are a lady over 30.  (Yes, if you’re in the middle, you can choose one – or both!)

Last year we had a blast! We actually ended up with more women than men because a few guys chickened out at the last minute. Since we had a waiting list, we were able to even the numbers back out at the last minute and had an awesome event. We even ended up with a couple that emailed me a month or so later to say they were dating!

This article was written by the guy who got 9 mutual matches. He doesn’t want to use his real name, so if you like, you can call him Johnny Pancake.

90% speed-dating success rate.

That was my personal result at Gen Con 2010. I checked “yes” for 10 of the 15 ladies, and of those 10, nine checked “yes” for me. This is certainly not to brag or boast. Indeed, only 4 of the 9 replied to my initial email, 1 of the 4 talked to me on the phone. However, I did have a strategy for the event itself. It was effective in getting mostly “yes” results, which is the first hurdle to overcome.

In an effort to assist my fellow guys, I share this plan with you. It is not new or revolutionary, and is useful advice in everyday life and business, not just speed-dating.


Your appearance will be the first thing your date notices. You don’t have to have the looks of George Clooney, but you do need to present yourself well.

Take some time to wear a becoming outfit. You need to wear clothes that fit, aren’t worn out, and are reasonably stylish. Being totally GQ isn’t necessary, but neither is arriving in your most intricate cosplay outfit.

I know it’s Gen Con, and I know you have 25 hours of every day booked with gaming.  But if you show up in an old, frayed “I’m L33TORZ!” tshirt and smell like you’ve been gaming all day, it will be noticed. At the same time, it will also be noticed if you take a 1/2 hour to shower, shave, and iron a shirt. Not a t-shirt, but a collared shirt. With buttons. This might not be the time to show that you are manly enough to wear a kilt.

By not paying attention to appearance, you are giving her the sense that she is not important enough to warrant the extra effort to make a positive first impression. You’re saying that it’s more important to spend that time rolling dice or flipping cards rather than getting ready for the dates.


For the five minutes of the date, make her feel like she is the only female in the room. Maintain eye contact, smile, and ask questions about her. Be genuinely interested in what she has to say. Keep your hands on the table and lean slightly forward to engage the conversation.

Do not lean back, cross your arms, and/or slump in your chair. Do not look around the room, and especially do not keep glancing at the girl at the next table! You may be tempted to do just that, already excited about your next date, but don’t do it. The surest way to get a “no” response is to make her feel that she’s sub-par to the other girls in the room.

As far as the topics of conversation, think of a few open-ended questions before the event starts. I am naturally outgoing so that helped me, but it’s not necessary. Just get her talking about herself and her interests, and the conversation will flow naturally.

Speed-dating at Gen Con was one of my fondest memories from last year. Even if nothing worked out in the long-term for me personally, it was exciting to make new friends who share common interests. By paying a bit of attention to your appearance and communication, you will have a better-than-average chance at “yes” responses. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the guy who will be able to say “Let me tell you how I met my wife. At Gen Con 2011 I signed up for the Speed Dating event, and…”

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