One of the thing that I love about being an event photographer, is that I get to attend conferences and seminars, and learn the most interesting things. And my assignment last week at Lunch Actually is definitely one of those.
When I first got the email from them, I thought they were a restaurant looking to shoot their company dinner event. But after checking out their website (as I would normally do to discover my clients), I was pretty amused to find that they are a professional matchmaking company! In fact they even have an app that says “Stop Swiping. Start Meeting Up” which is clearly a swipe (pun intended) at Tinder. After a few emails with them, I got (pun alert!) engaged with them to shoot their event as well as some portraits of their CEO, Violet Lim.
Fast forward to the actual day, on the 30th of March 2017, where the event was held in Talent Lounge Damansara Perdana I met a couple of their marketing folks Michele and Marilyn (really nice ladies), and their business cards that says “Love is My Passion” and “I’m a Transformer”. How unique!
I then met their CEO, Violet and it was a pleasure photographing her. We had just a short time before the event started so we did shots indoor and outdoor of her for their corporate profile and media usage.
So the event was called “Matchmaking Masterclass” and Violet shared her story of the company and then later how we can help ourselves (if we are single) or our friends to find their partners. Violet was a lawyer by education and worked in Citibank Singapore prior to starting this company about 14 years ago. She made an interesting discover that is actually quite true even amongst my friends: people mostly find their spouses from their high-school or college days. Once people start their careers, a lot of them get too busy with work to have time to socialise. And the next they know, they are in their mid thirties and still single (or worse, married to their work).
With that, Violet found a need that she could potentially fill and make a business out of it. And that she did, taking a bold step to quit her job, and become a professional matchmaker. However, the term “Matchmaker” is still one that conjures old aunties doing awkward introductions, and it was something Violet had to dispel.
Moving forward, she got everyone to do some exercise to think about how one can be a “matchmaker” without being that irritating aunty. One of the ways Lunch Actually work is they match people to their needs first before their wants. So the participants did an exercise where they had to write down 5 Wants and 3 Needs of what they think their future spouse should be (or if not single, what their friends may want or need). So a Want can be anything, like “I want the person to be a Doctor” while a Need is the absolute fundamental thing you require from your future spouse, such as “I need a person who loves children”. And a need is in essence the Values that the person live by.
After knowing the clients Wants and Needs, Lunch Actually will then find a person that matches closest to the client’s Values and setup well, lunch actually. So how does it work? Basically Lunch Actually will setup a blind date where the two parties are only given the restaurant, time and the name of the table it was booked under. Then the two party will have lunch and start their conversations. So why lunch? Because unlike dinner, lunch is convenient and long enough to get to know someone, and short enough to get away if you think the person is not a good match (i.e. use the excuse that you have a meeting after lunch). And why a blind date? Basically so the clients to come with any preconceived idea of a person by searching for the person on the internet prior to the meeting, and therefore any impression the person would have of the other person would be solely created on that first meeting. When I heard this, I thought it was just brilliant and if I was single at this point in my life, I would definitely use their service to save time looking for a date!
There was also a lot of interactive discussion and Q and A session with everyone. Overall, I thought it was a really great and insightful session. I would definitely encourage any single friend of mine to go try them out. Consultation is free and you need to just go to their office. They charge by number of dates they can setup for you, and details can be found after they have met you. Go on to www.lunchactually.com and check it out!
Finally, just thought I would like to share a little feedback I got from Lunch Actually after the event. 🙂
Hi Joshua, would like to extend our THANKS as well for helping us take amazing photos during the event! Thanks for sharing the photos so promptly as well!
Group Head of PR & Partnerships