TBH, I Still Hate Networking

I recently went to a networking event and it was great. Made a few connections, saw some familiar faces, and listened to some good music. But going to the event reminded me how much of an effort and continued practice it is to network.

 Thankfully, through the years I’ve gotten much better at them, and dare I say, sometimes look forward to them. I still hate small talk and wish we could just jump to being creative besties. Seeing that’s rarely the case,  here are 15 conversation starters to bypass awkwardness and get straight to the fun part.

1. Hello, nice to meet you. I'm [insert your name]

2. How did you hear about the event?

3. How do you know [host]?

4. What do you do?

5. I really don't know many people here, mind if I join you?

6. Such a beautiful day today! (Conversely, if you live in Chicago it'll probably be something like "Ugh, this weather is trash. How many more days until summer?")

7. Did you try the [best food/drink at the event]?

8. Are you from the area?

9. Is this your first time at [organiztion]

10. How long have you been a part of [organization]?

11. Do you know if there's wifi?

12. What's the most interesting thing that's happened this week?

13. I'm so bad at these things. (Perfect for equally awkward loners hiding out.)

14. Have you heard this person speak before?

15. Instead of your name, write "Ask Me" on your name tag. The copywriter in me loves to give people a CTA.