Professional networking events can be intimidating to many. You are in a room surrounded by industry professionals and you are trying to gain attention yet too scared to approach people in case you blurt out something wrong and ruin any chances you might have at making a valuable connection.
But, when it comes to starting a professional networking conversation, it’s an entirely different story. How can you simply walk up to someone you don’t know at a networking event and strike a conversation?
While some may feel relieved that someone else started the conversation on their stead, you know the difficulty you have to go through. What if the person you are approaching give you a mere one-word answer? Or, what if they ignore you?
We understand finding your way through a networking event can be tough. But, the truth is that you are at the event to meet and build relationships with like-minded people. Additionally, if you genuinely approach a person and introduce yourself with a bright smile, no one is going to turn you away.
Nevertheless, we can always help make your journey easier with a few effective conversation starters you could always rely on. So, without further ado, here is our curated list of best networking conversation starters to break the ice.
What do you do?
What brought you here today?
Hi there! I am Anna. What are you passionate about?
I can’t stop eating these nachos. Have you tried them?
These meatballs are delicious. I know a great place around the corner that’s just as good. Have you been there before?
These appetizers are so great, I think I am going to grab another. Would you like to join me?
What a beautiful venue. Have you been here before?
I just came for these carrot sticks. How did you hear about this event?
Are you from Bangalore?
I love your bag. Where’d you get it?
Your shoes look ideal for being stood on your feet all day! Mine are absolutely killing me. Where did you get them from?
I was really impressed by the speech you gave at an event last year.
Man, these networking events can be so crazy. Mind if I join over here where it’s a little quieter?
Excuse me. Do you know how much a polar bear weighs? Enough to break the ice! Hi, I am John. Nice to meet you.
As we are both here, I feel I should introduce myself. I’m (name) from (company).
ASK FOR HELP
Do you know how to get to the train station from here?
Did you catch the first speaker? What was his/her talk about?
Any chance you know a great sushi place around here? I am not familiar with the area, and I’m headed to dinner after this.
TOTALLY RANDOM (BUT THEY WORK)
I love these churros. I like spending my weekends discovering new restaurants and trying their delicious menus. What do you do in your leisure time?
Well, you guys are certainly having more fun than the last group I was talking to.
I am putting together a list of the best and worst networking conversation starters. Any particularly good or terrible ones you’ve heard of tonight?
I can’t believe how under-dressed I am for this event.
I will be honest. The only person I know here is the bartender, and I just met him two minutes ago. Mind if I introduce myself.
Wow, I just can’t believe all the crazy news headlines today. What a week!
Man, I hate networking.
An important factor that you should keep in mind when attending a networking event is that you should put all your fears aside and not abandon yourself at a corner. Be part of random conversations and enjoy experiencing all the different opinions.
So, what do you think about these conversation starters? Do you have any great lines you would recommend to our fellow readers? Let us know in the comments below.