Good Company For Singles Expands Into Wellington
26 January 2005
Good Company For Singles Expands Into Wellington
Singles looking to enhance their social life or to find a partner have just had the pool of potential opportunities widened. Auckland's premier events company for single people, THE GROUP, is expanding with the opening of a new Wellington office on February 1st.
The Group specializes in offering singles opportunity to meet socially through a variety of fun and stylish activities including dinners, parties, outdoor activities (both as participants and spectators), evenings at the theatre and weekends away. The Group's members comprise a balance of men and women ranging in age from mid 20s to mid 60s - with the only criteria for membership that they are currently single.
The Group's Director, Roberta Tills, says the decision to move into Wellington was prompted by some Auckland members who recently transferred to the Capital and did not want to socialize solely with work colleagues. With the steady growth and untapped potential for a range of businesses across the singles market generally, she says that Wellington is an obvious step forward for the company.
"Both cities have populations of single professionals in particular, who are relocating and traveling regularly for business reasons, so don't always have the time or networks to build a new social life, seek out good company or find a partner," she says. "We recognize this, so tailor our programme to feature activities that are fun and intelligent, but all with a definite social emphasis! With our break into Wellington, membership will work across both centres - like some gym memberships offer - so our members can join events in either city when it fits their schedule, as well as participate in the joint city activities we have planned."
With The Group's current Auckland membership of 700 on the increase particularly among successful professionals, Roberta anticipates that the developing Wellington membership will over time expand the number of singles participating in The Group's activities across both centres.
"We are seeing growth in our membership of young professionals who regard joining The Group as no different to signing up with Les Mills to help get fit or employing a cleaner to keep the house tidy. They appear uninhibited about joining us to help them achieve their goals, with no stigma attached!" says Suzanne Quinn, The Group's National and Auckland Manager. "As one very attractive 30-something lawyer said recently - what's wrong with getting a professional to organize social activities that would take me ages to arrange and hopefully betters my chances of meeting Mr Right! All I have to do is turn up and enjoy!"
Suzanne and the newly appointed Wellington manager, Anita L'Estrange, oversee all membership screening and maintain regular personal contact with individual members - an important aspect of The Group's philosophy and success with members to date. They also plan the extensive programme of activities, utilising local knowledge to compile the ever-changing line-up which must cater to an array of interests and tastes. They are in attendance at events, which are always held at reputable venues and offer a safe social environment for members.
An average weekly programme includes age-group dinners, mix n' mingle nights, bbqs and cocktail parties; and the free bi-monthly Club Night always has a popular turnout. Outdoor activities include fishing excursions, kayaking, mountain-biking or spectator sports such as the Sevens or ASB Women's Tennis Classic. Cultural events take in nights at the theatre and opera, concerts or art galleries. Recent trips away have taken The Group as far afield as the Martinborough Wine and Food Festival, Great Barrier Island and the Tongariro Crossing.
"Singles groups are rapidly becoming recognised as a sensible, practical way of meeting new people," explains Suzanne. "Many single people are finding that a hectic lifestyle or changes in personal circumstances can sometimes limit opportunities to establish a social life, make new friends and find companions to share interests with."
"We provide the framework that allows members to do that. They choose the activities that interest them which puts them in touch with like-minded people and takes away the hassle of having to organize it. It provides opportunity to try new things that they might not be so confident in doing on their own, as well. In many ways we become an extension of their social calendar.
"Some members use us as a network for business as well as personal reasons. While there is no doubt that many of our members are there to find a partner, doing so while having fun, enjoying good food and conversation is a safe and healthy way to gain a wide group of friends as well as potentially finding someone special!"