Official apology from Fevermedia for Year of making love

Funny I missed this all together… and it wasn’t till someone left a comment on my personal OKcupid blog where I made reference to the debacle in the light a question about maths in matching people.

To everyone who attended The Year Of Making Love launch event.

First of all, thank you very much for attending. As you know, hundreds of people joined us on Saturday in Bedfordshire. Whilst the vast majority of people enjoyed their day, I am well aware that some people’s experiences were disappointing which is something I deeply regret. I and the entire team are extremely sorry for the difficulties you faced.

By way of explanation I want to say a few things about the day. We invited 1000 people to the event, all of whom had been carefully matched in advance by our experts. You held up your side of the deal by coming along on Saturday. Unfortunately, we were surprised by the high number of people who did not arrive at the venue. This was entirely unexpected, since every single person who was invited had confirmed their attendance with the production team in the days prior to the event. The contributors who did not turn up caused a large number of problems for us throughout the day, and had a serious knock on effect on the smooth running of the event.

When it became clear early on Saturday morning that some contributors had not got onto their coach, our team immediately began to call around those individuals to try to get them to the venue. As the day progressed more and more people were turning up who had not got on their original coach but had instead made their own way to the venue. This meant people’s matches were arriving throughout the day and in some cases we didn’t know for sure whether a match was on their way until rather late in the day. We also decided to delay some coaches to give people more time to get to the venue. This meant people were arriving later and in larger numbers than planned which caused queues and a delay in the registration process.

Later in the afternoon, it did become clear that for a number of you, your match was unfortunately not going to turn up. At this point we could tell by checking each individual’s number that there were many strongly compatible people in the room and we created new couples using the same scientific data from the personality tests that had been used originally. Unfortunately, a number of people who had registered on the day left the venue during the afternoon without first informing anyone on the production team. This meant many of our new matches would not be possible as one of half of the match had actually already left the event – although of course we didn’t yet have that information.

This is the first time an event like this has ever been attempted before and whilst many had a fantastic day I am aware that some people’s day was a big disappointment. If you are one of those people I hope you trust we tried to do what we could in difficult circumstances. From my point of view, having one unhappy contributor is not acceptable, so I am extremely disappointed that some of our contributors feel let down. We could not have made this event happen without our contributors and I do thank you for being there on the day.

I should also let you know that we will be contacting everyone who did not turn up on the day to try to find out why. We are also looking in to the possibility of putting people in contact with their original matches but this is entirely dependant on two way consent.

Finally, should you wish to share your thoughts with us, I would genuinely welcome your feedback. Over the next few weeks I’m asking our team to get in touch with everyone and I will ensure that each and every one of you receives a reply to your questions and concerns. We are working through the emails we have received, but if you have anything more to add the best way to reach us is at yoml-update@fevermedia.co.uk.

The Year Of Making Love launch day was an ambitious event and whilst the majority of people successfully met their match, we are fully committed to try and make amends for those that didn’t.
Thank you again for taking part and please accept our apologies.

Fever Media

Finally a better understanding of what was going on in the background. If only this was made clear during the event instead of keeping it a bloody secret. That was the biggest problem, very little very information or communication to us, the participations/contributors.

Frankly its a very poor apology, it still doesn’t address why we were so delayed getting off the coaches and never given a break, food or drink for a good 6-8 hours. Theres also no information to say if the show will go ahead in its current form or greatly changed?

Fevermedia once again blame us and not themselves. Are they really surprised people started leaving when there was no communication?

They must have known the risks, this is why they had researchers calling us up right to the last moment. One of the guys I met on the day from Manchester, received a call on the coach up from one of the researchers asking if he was on the coach or not. I guess it does explain why the coach were 50% capacity on the way up…

I never can explain to people who were not there how frustrating the whole event was… Even now a week later (8pm) its crazy to think at this time last week I had not eaten or drank for close to 8 hours. The intriguing nature of meeting my perfect match kept me at the venue and there should have been a system or solution to keep people informed if they went away, even to the toilet. The idea of matching people in front of the cameras blindsided the whole process till it became very clear it was totally impossible. Not sure when Fevermedia caught on to this fact but it was certainly hours after everyone else.

As I said previously, usually TV is created under a dictatorship. These guys (director/producer/etc) keep things so usually tight, so it was very eyeopening to see public wifi, etc available. However although I enjoyed the openness of this type of thing, they totally dropped the ball for event management. No apology for that anywhere to see…

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.