History of Trade Associations for the Dating Industry

There have been many attempts over the years to form trade associations for the dating industry.  Here are the highlights.

1. ICOMFA held an international meeting of dating services in 1987 in Budapest, Hungary.  Most attendees were European dating services.  The most notable American attendee was Jeffrey Ullman, who at the time was the President of Great Expectations, the world’s largest videodating company. No dating websites attended, as there were none in the world.  No information about any other meetings is available and it is assumed that this organization is defunct.

2. ISIS (International Society of Introduction Services) was founded Patricia Moore, appx. 1995. At the time she was President of The Patricia Moore Group, which she later sold.  No meetings of the association were ever held.  Patricia Moore eventually abandoned her efforts because there was not enough interest from dating services.

3. Association of Ethical Matchmakers was founded by Joan Bowman, approximately 1995.  The association did not last very long and is now defunct.

4. IAIA (International Association of Introduction Agencies) was founded by Will Knedlik, a Washington State-based attorney, beginning with a meeting at the Cathedral Hill Hotel in San Francisco on August 24, 1996, hosted by Rich Gosse, Chairman of American Singles Education, Inc.  Most of the major dating services and dating websites attended one or more meetings, which were held throughout the U.S., including Great Expectations, Together, The Right One, Perfect Match, Matchmaker Intenational, Match.com, AmericanSingles.com, Singles Online, Interactive Media Group, Events & Adventures, Global Telenet, Matchnet, OneandOnly.com, etc.

5. IADW (International Association of Dating Websites) was founded by Rich Gosse, Chairman of American Singles Education, Inc., beginning with a meeting at the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway in San Francisco on May 29, 2004, where a Board of Directors was elected.  IADW is the world’s first and only trade association exclusively focused on the online dating industry.  Contact info: 205 Mark Twain Ave., San Rafael CA 94903, 415/479-3800.

6. SITRAS (Singles Industry Trade Association), held its first meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Miami FL on June 14-16, 2004.  SITRAS is a trade association of both offline dating services and online dating websites. Contact info: P.O. Box 2004, Palm City, FL 34991, www.sitras.com, 877/781-2440. [SITRAS is no longer an active organization.]

7. IDEA OASIS (Internet Dating Executive Alliance Online Association for Social Industry Standards), founded by Marc Lesnick of Ticonderoga Ventures in New York City, held its first Board of Directors Meeting at the Internet Dating Conference in Nice, France on July 15, 2004.   IDEA OASIS is a trade association of both offline dating services and online dating websites. Contact info: 410 Park Ave., Suite 1530, New York Ny 10022, www.ideaoasis.org, 212/751-0116.