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20 Best Conversation Starters for Networking Events

Having effective conversation starters for networking events can make all the difference. From asking about career paths to discussing common interests, here are 20 of the best conversation starters for networking events to help you break the ice.

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Having effective conversation starters for networking events can make all the difference. From asking about career paths to discussing common interests, here are 20 of the best conversation starters for networking events to help you break the ice.


Networking events can be a fantastic way to expand your professional circle and connect with like-minded individuals in your industry. However, approaching strangers and conversing can be intimidating and nerve-wracking for many people. This is where conversation starters for networking events come in.

Having a few conversation starters up your sleeve can make all the difference regarding networking events. They can help you build rapport with potential clients and employers, showcase your communication skills, and make a lasting impression. 

In this article, we'll explore why conversation starters for networking events are so important, whether you're a seasoned networker or new to the scene. 


Here are some general tips for networking successfully at events

Having a positive and approachable attitude - Smile, make eye contact, and introduce yourself to others. Feel free to initiate a conversation by asking someone about their work, interests, or industry experience. This can be a great way to break the ice and establish a rapport with others.

Be prepared - Research the event and the attendees beforehand. This can help you identify individuals you want to connect with and give you some talking points to work with. You can also prepare some conversation starters ahead of time, such as asking someone about their favourite book or movie or inquiring about their opinion on a recent industry news story.

Be an active listener -  When engaging in conversation, listen to what the other person is saying and ask follow-up questions. This shows that you are genuinely interested in their perspective and can help establish a deeper connection.

Follow up after the event - Exchange business cards and send a follow-up email or LinkedIn message thanking them for the conversation and expressing your interest in staying connected. This can solidify your connection at the event and potentially lead to future opportunities.


Let's explore some conversation starters for networking events to help you make the most of your time:


  • What brought you to this event today?

  • Have you attended this event before? If so, what did you think of it?

  • What industry are you in?

  • What kind of projects are you currently working on?

  • What do you enjoy most about your job?

  • Have you read any good books or watched interesting movies/TV shows lately?

  •  Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of work?

  • Have you travelled anywhere interesting recently?

  • Are there any upcoming events or conferences you're excited about attending?

  • What are your thoughts on the latest industry trends or news?

  • How do you stay up-to-date with developments in your field?

  • Who are some influencers or thought leaders that you follow in your industry?

  • What are some of the biggest challenges facing our industry right now?

  • Have you attended any engaging workshops or training sessions lately?

  • How do you manage work-life balance?

  • What motivates you to excel in your career?

  • Have you ever had a mentor or been a mentor to someone else?

  • How do you stay motivated and productive daily?

  • Have you ever worked remotely? What are your thoughts on it?

  • What do you think sets your company or organisation apart from others?


What to avoid when starting a conversation

While conversation starters can be a great way to break the ice, there are a few things to avoid when starting a conversation. Here are some common mistakes to watch out for:

  • Don't be too pushy: While being proactive is vital, don't be too pushy or aggressive when starting a conversation. Give the other person space to respond, and don't try to dominate the conversation.

  • Don't be too personal: Avoid asking emotional questions, especially in a professional setting. Stick to more general topics and let the other person share personal information if they feel comfortable.


How to keep the conversation going

Once you've started a conversation, the key is to keep it going. Here are some tips to help you maintain a lively and engaging discussion:

  • Ask open-ended questions: instead of asking yes or no questions, encourage the other person to elaborate on their answers.

  • Listen actively: show that you're engaged in the conversation by listening to the other person's words. Use nonverbal cues like nodding and eye contact to show you’re paying attention.

  • Share your own experiences: don't be afraid to share your own experiences and opinions. This helps build a rapport with the other person and keep the conversation flowing.

  • Find common ground: look for areas of common interest and build on those topics. This helps keep the conversation interesting and engaging for both parties.



Whether you're looking to expand your professional network, make new friends, or improve your social skills, these conversation starters for networking events will help you make an impression. So, remember to be prepared, confident, and authentic the next time you attend a networking event. And most importantly, remember to follow up with the connections you make.

Written by

Phil Ibsen

Phill Ibsen is a creative writer, scriptwriter and a storyteller who believes in telling the story as it is and not as it should be. He is the founder of Master of Descriptions, a production company which aims in showcasing authentic stories. He’s also an affiliate writer at the Writers Guild.

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