both points of view.
One of my first hobby experiences was with a provider who insisted that the first date start with off the clock drinks in a nearby bar in order to meet each other and insure mutual compatibility. It was a lovely way to meet and led to a very special first ( there were subsequently others with this same woman ) BCD experience.
By the same token, I understand Sarah's point of view which emphasizes the "value" of your time, irrespective of the activity. Chose what works best for you and good luck!