If you are interested in setting up a series of monthly single-day events, here is what the CM Central Florida group found worked best....
Pick a relatively consistent Saturday (we chose the closest Saturday to the middle of the month) so people can plan ahead.
Offer a three-part day: daytime kid-friendly activity; early dinner (no kids); Late Night (no kids)
Daytime activity ideas: ball games, 5/10/15K run for a benefit organization, aquarium, mini-golf, theme park, festivals (i.e. Renaissance Faire, Strawberry Festival, State Fair, etc.), beach park for cook-outs/picnic, performance, etc.
Dinner location tips: pick a place where you can easily converse - no blaring music. This is a kid-free part of the event so people can actually talk with one another. Choose a cuisine that covers the 'general public'. Steer clear of really pricey venues.
Late Night ideas: End the evening in casual night-time establishments - where you can have an alcoholic beverage if you wish, but it's not too awkward if you get a Coke instead. We chose City Walk, Channelside, Blue Martini @ Mall of Milennia, etc. Each of these locations is part of a larger complex that has several bars/restaurants/activities...most have outdoor seating areas which are perfect for attendees to unwind with a drink, enjoy some music and have easy conversations with other attendees. It may just be coincidence, but all of the dating (and marriage) relationships that spun out of these monthly events were from people that stayed thru to the end of the day.
By having a 3-part day:
1.) you address people with kids (it may be 'their' weekend to have the kids). Additionally, our single parents liked that they could involve their kids with this part so that when they decided to go out with someone later, it was "Mommy's going out with that nice man at the park that threw the ball with you...remember him?"
2.) It helps people that have to work days (they can attend the late night part) or people that work nights (they can enjoy the earlier parts)
3.) By separating the 'alcohol' portion, you can address the needs for any recovering alcoholics or those that are simply uncomfortable around alcohol. They can easily bow out graciously (I have to work tomorrow; church in the morning; the dog needs to be let out....) without having to announce their personal issues to the whole group.
4.) By having an actual sit-down dinner part, you can choose to sit next to someone you didn't get to talk with at the activity portion. OR, you can continue talking with someone you met at the activity portion that you'd like to talk more with.
One key component to these events is ROTATION! We rotated locations (between Tampa & Orlando) as well as organizers. We didn't want one or two organizers to put together ALL the events because:
1.) they'd get burned out
2.) we hope to find relationships of our own and cycle off of CM eventually! ...and don't want to leave a vacuum when we do.
3.) brings new ideas to the events - I may like aquariums, Joe might like ball games - the events should reflect ALL of the people involved in them.
I'm starting to put something together to get the Hampton Roads, VA members out from behind their computers that follows this general outline. Anyone in this area that is interested, please feel free to contact me directly. Myself and another member will begin sending out info and invites shortly for a 'get to know one another' dinner after Easter, so keep a look out for it! Bring on the SPRING AND SUMMER months!!!!