Name: Sarah Ryan
Position & Company: Head of Matchmaking at elect club www.electclub.co.uk
Period of time in the role: 2 years
Twitter ID: @electclub
Can you describe your role and what you do in one sentence?
I oversee the matchmaking of our clients at elect club; matching members based on suitability, personality and most importantly – compatibility.
What does your company do, and what sets it apart from others in the industry?
Elect club is an exclusive social network for attractive dynamic eligible professionals looking for a serious relationship. We have set the standard in discreet, selective and personalised introductions, and now have one of the largest private databases of single professionals in London. A ’boutique’ company, elect club services and unparalleled set of members ranging from business leaders and entrepreneurs, to professionals in every field.
What is your personal style in business in three words?
Personable, exclusive, honest.
How did you get into the online dating industry?
We are not an online dating company but organise matchmaking and personal introductions for single, attractive professionals in London. I graduated in marketing, this helps to understand the businesses needs, I have experience in journalism which enables effective writing of our members profiles and have worked for a range of top brands in customer service and client based roles- this provided the core needed for matchmaking.
Understanding clients on a personal level and building a relationship with them similar to that of a great friend ensures we can develop a trust. However, we are certainly honest with them about what is going wrong on the dating scene for them and offer dating advice, confidence booster and the sometimes necessary image consultancy. I have a background in fashion which can help along with that one! We are also NLP trained which is so effective when meeting new people constantly.
A little about my director Daniel Andre (above, with Sarah) who is the CEO of elect club: With years of experience in the events industry Daniel has worked a successful international career working in Paris, Madrid, Brussels, Moscow, London… As a qualified International Events & Wedding Professional he has organised red carpet events with A-List celebrities, private parties to corporate events. Always trying to get the right people to the right event led to networking and matchmaking. “I want to build a community of interesting, intelligent, attractive professionals and elect club has become exactly that. Engagements and wedding aside, every day we also see friendships, social and business relationships developing by bringing the right people together.”
What are you most proud of in your role?
The amount of clients who have made so many like-minded friends with similar interests, values and experiences in life. Our members find that when they date if there doesn’t happen to be that bit of chemistry over a coffee with a match- they end up being friends and meeting similar individuals in different circles. There are of course those proud moments when members begin dating someone and look to begin a long-term relationship with each other after our matchmaking.
What are the biggest challenges the industry faces?
I can not comment for online but as for the dating industry as a whole: it has been booming for years and so it seems the market is now becoming saturated. It seems there is a loss of control for many charlatans who think that playing cupid between two singles makes them a matchmaker. There are many companies who are clear start-ups who can claim “we are the best agency in London/UK” but who is the judge? Vulnerable singles who are time-poor who need to start dating invest and put their faith in companies who simply don’t have a clue where to start with matchmaking.
What do you think is the most exciting opportunity facing the industry?
We think it is very exciting that the taboo of using assisted measures to find a suitor is quickly vanishing. We understand that it can be difficult to meet a like-minded individual who wants the same things as you, especially when living in a big city such as the capital. At elect club we find that because we are a luxury service, having a personal matchmaker is making a statement to an individuals peers- just like having a personal trainer. We are like dating PAs for professionals.
What does the rest of 2013 hold for your company?
Well 2013 is shaping up to be a very busy and successful year. We have really been working on a lot of new and exciting projects. We have just filmed as part of a high-end TV production/series for FOX TV. We are also currently writing a monthly dating column for an online magazine for women- we’re even working on a blog which will entail the trials and tribulations of dating in the cities and the days in the life of a matchmaker. The latter end of every year – just after those summer months are always our busiest time. Singles are thinking about Christmas and planning ahead for those colder months – to meet someone special to spend the holidays and hopefully a lot longer with!
We also have a lot of singles evenings penciled in the diary, these are casual networkings for individuals for both business and social – we arrange these at exclusive private members clubs across London and it seems there are many to organise over the forthcoming months. Watch this space!