Meet Your Match IRL at Vancouver’s Interactive Bumble Hive This Weekend
The dating app is coming to town with a series of free empowerment-centred talks and DIY workshops in an effort to connect its users.
November 26, 2018
The Hive is coming to town, folks. No, not the solo (read: Jay-Z–free) Beyoncé tour you’ve been fantasizing about since Disney dropped the trailer for its anticipated The Lion King reboot. (If you’re of the belief that you don’t need to hear “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” performed live by the reigning queen of pop in this lifetime, you’re wrong and I feel sorry for you.) But the Bumble Hive: an IRL iteration of the mobile dating app that’s been disrupting heteronormative mating codes since 2014 by requiring women to make the first move.
By IRL iteration, I (unfortunately) don’t mean women will be shoving a selection of men—whom, ideally, will be arranged in some sort of police lineup sequence—either left or right as they hunt for their perfect match. Rather, Bumble is partnering with Indigo to host a series of free panel discussions and DIY workshops that will help its community of users shed the smartphone screens. “It really is a space where our users can connect in real life,” says Emily Ramshaw, Bumble’s Canada lead.
Taking place from Thursday to Sunday (November 28 to December 2) at Indigo’s downtown Vancouver flagship, the Bumble Hive will feature activities like tarot-card readings; local maker–led workshops that teach everything from macramé to embroidery; and talks that tackle topics such as the #MeToo movement, entrepreneurship and mental health. (For the uninitiated, Bumble isn’t just a dating app anymore; it contains “modes” for friend-finding and professional development and networking, too.) Speakers include Sara and Erin Foster, Bumble’s creative directors; Mandy Len Catron, author of How to Fall in Love with Anyone: A Memoir in Essays; and Adele Tetangco, cofounder of indie online-shopping website Garmentory.
There will also be one-on-one sessions with “profile doctors”, where users can seek advice for improving their online profiles. (The company employs an in-house sociologist, who’s apparently collected enough data to know what works—sharing genuine interests and hobbies that speak to your personality—and doesn’t work—shirtless mirror pics—when it comes to attracting love interests, pals and potential business partners.)
The majority of events are complimentary and open to anyone who installs and flashes the Bumble app on their phone. Some sessions—like meditation and DIY jewellery making—require a donation to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. “We are always very conscious of being female-friendly,” notes Ramshaw, “but, that being said, we want this to be a space where everyone can feel comfortable.”
Of course, because Bumble began as a platform for mating and dating, attendees are encouraged to meet up with matches—whether that be a romantic prospect, friend or someone else—at the Hive, which should offer plenty of distractions in case the first date ends up being a bust. At the very least, the pop-up serves as a safe, interactive space to meet others. “This kind of happens naturally with a lot of our activations,” says Ramshaw. “People go in knowing that it’s Bumble with an open mind to meeting new people.”
Created by Tinder cofounder Whitney Wolfe Herd in an effort to combat the abuse and harassment commonly directed at women on other dating services, Bumble has conducted Hive pop-ups in Toronto, Los Angeles and New York City. According to Ramshaw, the Austin-based company made Vancouver its next stop because of the “substantial” and “quickly growing” number of Bumble users in the region. She hopes that the event will engage Vancouverites and help them make more meaningful connections. “I think the more that people on their phones, the more that they want to meet in real life.”
When: Thursday, November 28—Sunday, December 2
Where: Indigo Robson, 1033 Robson St.
Cost: Free for the most part; select workshops are by donation