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Pitch A Friend event in at The Dock Sports Bar & Grill (Image: Lucas Chaufournier / Seattle Social Club)
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I went to the viral TikTok 'Pitch A Friend' event in Seattle

I like to think that I am not easily influenced by social media, but daaaaang... TikTok has got me in a chokehold.

The other day, I was just hanging out, ya know, doing my thang, when my TikTok algorithm got me so good. The TikTok was promoting a local dating experience called "Pitch A Friend," hosted by Seattle Social Club. It had been viewed over 310,000 times and was sent to me by a couple of friends who had also seen the viral video... Pitching A Friend? I love it.

Lucas Chaufournier, founder of Seattle Social Club said he was surprised at the virality of the video.

"[After making the TikTok], I went to bed that night thinking 'oh, it’ll get like 200 views, we’ll get one or two more sign-ups.' I woke up the next day and bam! 50,000 views and growing. I think it topped at 310k views," he said.

The views definitely led to more sign-ups. In fact, it was sold out, with a waitlist.

"I really don’t think it’s the video itself that’s popular, though. I think it just demonstrates how much people are really ready to change their approaches to dating and are fed up with the traditional ways of using an app," said Chaufournier. "Quarantine taught us all a lot and one of those things is that we all crave human interaction and want to meet people in person! We just want to have fun dating!"

As a writer who is very familiar with the concept of "pitching," I thought it was a very clever idea and being a late 20-something who has tried dating events before—this was perfectly targeted to my #ForYouPage and also--my life as a human woman.

Basically, the premise is that an audience full of local singles watch as presenters will get up and essentially "elevator pitch" their best friends. If an audience member likes the pitch (human being), they can get in contact and ask the person out on a date. Simple, straightforward and absolutely ~sagacious, darling~.

Obviously, not one to shy away from out-of-the-ordinary dating experiences, I purchased a ticket and couldn't wait to experience the madness and the genius.

Fast forward about a week and I find myself sitting in a seat with my girlfriend Claire eating Cajun shrimp tacos and French fries. Side note, I want to give a FAT shout-out to The Dock Sports Bar and Grill for having some of the most delicious and bangin’ French fries... Do NOT sleep on their ranch dressing as a dipping sauce.

Anywhosies!

Both Claire and I have significant others, so we went purely as an observational study of eligible bachelors and bachelorettes on the prowl--just a good ole fashioned Jane Goodall type of situation. Luckily, we both have partners who think it's funny that we go to singles events for sport, but that's neither here nor there.

This is how it worked: Each presenter got up and cast their PowerPoints onto a big screen. The 'suitor' would sit in a big chair AKA *throne* where they were subject to embarrassing photos, quips and stories, but obviously followed with baddie Instagram shots and stories about how they are TRULY the best sons, daughters, roommates and best friends to walk Planet Earth.

After the brief 3-4 minute pitch, the suitor was asked audience questions. I, obviously curious about astrological signs, would try to guess their signs before knowing, shout the question, "WHAT'S YOUR SIGN" and be absolutely so shocked when I was wrong.

But the energy at this place—was palpable. Think very early 20s to early 30s; flirty, festive and sexual energy just bursting at the seams. Everybody was lookin’ at everybody. I mean, think about a big beer garden FULL of single men and women who are actively looking for a partner, whether it be one of the presenters, the presentees or some random person in the room! It just had amazing energy.

"It’s such a fun event and I think it aligns with our mission of providing a safe low-key way for people to date and meet each other," said Chaufournier. "I mean, what safer way to date than to date someone who literally had a friend vouch for them in front of 150 people!"

The event took nearly two hours to get through every presentation and every person was funny or clever in their own way. It was almost like a little comedy show! There was one girl who made her presentation in the form of a shark tank-esque pitch, looking for equity and investment and all that jazz.

The best part is how much the presenters loved their friends. I mean, is there anything sweeter than when a friend gushes about why they love their best friends so much?! Not only are they trying to help them find the ~love of their life~ in a cramped and sweaty Fremont beer garden, but they are also declaring their absolute love and genuine care for their bestie! Two words- WHOLE. SOME.

Beyond the event itself, different events that Seattle Social Club have and will put on--are so friggen rad.

"Nowadays, we regularly throw events of all kinds and try new experimental events that try to get people off the apps, out of their houses, and back into the real world making new connections all while feeling safe and comfortable," said Chaufournier.

Think group Mariners games, speed-dating, speed-friending and more! The world is Chaufournier's oyster.

"I know of at least two relationships from the first two-speed dating events. I know that a bunch of people from the first speed-friending actually attended our 'Pitch A Friend' together," said Chaufournier. "I heard rumors that two of our presentees actually have a date coming up."

Maybe Seattle daters are sick of the apps or are ready for more tangible and in-person experiences following a COVID lockdown world.

"Overall, I think things are going well for our attendees and we’re having fun bringing them together," said Chaufournier. "Even if people don’t end up together forever after our events, I like to think they had a fun time attending and that we are bringing a small amount of joy back to the process of dating and finding friends. I’m on a mission to thaw the Seattle freeze and I’ll keep experimenting until I find a way to crack it!"

Find more 'Pitch A Friend' or other events by Seattle Social Club here.


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