The easiest way to start becoming comfortable with networking is to have possible conversation starters that come natural to you. Some examples include:
What brings you to this event?
I usually find an interesting story as to why someone is there. Maybe the same person invited us both – then we get to talk to how we each know that person. Then, sometimes this leads to another interesting story and connection.
That is a beautiful necklace!
This can be another accessory, such as a pin or a tie. Now, you have to really mean it. If you don’t like the necklace, please don’t say that you do. In general, people have a good intuition when someone is being genuine or not. People enjoy being flattered when it comes across genuinely. Next time they see you, they will be sure to remember you!
Do you know any of the speakers? Do you know any of the organizers? How did you connect with the Name of Hosting Organization (i.e., HACE, SHRM)?
Usually, if you are attending a speaking engagement, you are interested in one of the speakers and/or the organization. This is something you have in common with most, if not everyone, in the room! Use this to your advantage and start a conversation about the topic, speaker or organization.
Have you been to this event or attended any of their events before?
I usually ask this when it is my first time at a recurring or annual event. I like to hear of someone else’s experience. If it is their first time, then we usually get to connect on the fact that we are both new to this event or organization. Or, if they are a regular attendee, I get to hear why they continue to come back.
Join HACE at the following upcoming opportunities and practice networking! Click on the following links.
July 7th: HACE Latino Recruitment Series with BMO Harris Bank
July 23rd: Mujeres de HACE Women in Leadership Brunch Forum
See all events here: http://www.haceonline.org/events