Hey Nerds, the team and I have had a regrouping session and are making an announcement.  When Nerd Nite Pittsburgh first started one of the main changes I wanted to add to the standard event from other chapters was for there to be an organized social activity.  After a few duds, Speed Friending has become a crowd favorite and regularly reported as one of the best ways in Pittsburgh to meet new people.  Despite this, after some feedback on our events this year we feel like we made a mistake.  It is a significant enough mistake that we wanted to make a formal announcement that we are changing how we’re running things so everyone has the same expectations moving forward and so that we can get our event back to being the type of event we want it to be.

We have had the same description of Speed Friending since the beginning “Whether you are new to the city and hoping to make friends, trying to expand your professional network with other nerds, or are single and looking to mingle, the game is just about meeting new people!”  We’re nerds. We’re a little awkward.  It’s part of who we are.  We do better when social rules are clearly defined.  So when one person in a friend-match is “single and looking to mingle” and the other person in the match is “new to the city and hoping to make friends” we have received feedback that there have been uncomfortable interactions.  We want everyone to feel welcome, safe, and respected at our events.  Because of this feedback, moving forward “single and looking to mingle” will no longer be a part of Speed Friending at our comedy/TED nights.  I want to be incredibly clear here, no one has done anything wrong except for us.  This is our fault we don’t want anyone to feel bad about their choices at our previous events related to this rule change.  

Moving forward for the singles:  Our mixers with Pitch-A-Friend and stoplight parties are becoming our most popular event.   At these events we will run Speed Mingling rather than Speed Friending.  We will continue hosting these events so you can bring out your inner Casanova to those wearing green wristbands while yellow and red wristbands will fall back on the Speed Friending rules.  Additionally, everyone says through-a-friend is the best way to meet a partner, so making friends and helping us build this community will help you with that goal in the long run too.

With this change, uncomfortable romantic conversation during Speed Friending will result in a warning and a second offense with removal from the event.  If someone is removed from a second event on a later night they will no longer be welcome to attend in the future.  The same goes for initiating romantic conversation with people wearing red wristbands at the stoplight parties.  If someone is breaking these rules just let an organizer know.  Thank you for bearing with us as we evolve this event together.  We appreciate all of your continued support and will always be happy to hear feedback on how to make this event better for everyone.