October 18, 2016

The Blank Napkin: A Dating Event with a Creative Spin on Marketing


Napkin designed by Michael Vino

On one particular Saturday night, I happened to meet Kathryn Owens, the creative-minded book editor spearheading a singles social event called The Blank Napkin. I overheard Kathryn talking to the bartender about this event that sparked from a moment of “frustration with the modern dating scene.” As I asked her more about herself and the event, I quickly learned that Kathryn’s own personal experiences led to the creation of a brilliant, carefully marketed event that could be a new (or old-school, might I say) way of meeting people.

The concept for The Blank Napkin is inspired by courtships of the distant past, when we didn’t have phones — seems like forever ago, right? The event won’t be posted on any social media outlets and will only be publicized via word of mouth, mutual connections and some cute napkins you might find at local bars. The idea is to show up, sign up at the door, power-off your phone and be present. The fun starts with a drink special called the Single and Mingle, a shot of whiskey and a chaser of choice. To give the event an interesting twist, the DJ will be playing into the night but will occasionally stop the music to ask the crowd a would-you-rather question, just to spice things up a bit.

In the past, people met through mutual interests, activities or just by chance, which is exactly Kathryn’s goal with the Blank Napkin. With an online dating world that’s saturated with singles and that’s designed to be impersonal, the Blank Napkin provides an alternative that is a complete 180-degree pivot from an app, and ponders whether the thought that we should reconsider the ways we used to interact and really be human.

The Blank Napkin will be held at 7 p.m. at Dodge City on October 26 to any interested parties. Just as Kathryn and I met by chance at a bar, you never know who you could meet by simply putting yourself out there and sparking up one conversation.