10 Conversation Tips For Your Next Corporate Event

    One of the perks of attending a corporate event, whether it’s an educational conference, industry social event, or an event introducing you to potential new clients, is the ability to network and meet new people. While some people naturally have the gift of gab, others may need some help getting a conversation started and feeling comfortable introducing themselves to new people. We have compiled a list of some helpful tips for starting a conversation at your next corporate event.

    10 Conversation Tips For Your Next Corporate Event:

    1. Go In Pairs

    Networking can be less intimidating if you have a colleague or friend do it with you. It takes the pressure off of having to carry on a conversation with a stranger and gives you the advantage of having a familiar face around.

    2. Talk About What You Liked About The Event

    If you’re looking for topics to help start up a conversation at an event, ask the other person what their favorite part of the event has been, what session they enjoyed the most, or what is something new that they learned. You both choose to go to the event for a reason - find out what their favorite part was!

    3. Ask Where They Are From or What They Do For Work

    Any easy ice breaker topic at an event, especially if it is an event that brings people together from all over the country, is where they are from. From there you can talk about any time difference adjustments, travel, ect. Or, if you’re all from the same area, ask who they work for and what they do there. 

    4. Ask If They Have Been To The Event Before

    Another easy topic of conversation to help get the ball rolling is if they have ever been to the event before. If it’s their first time, you can give some tips, or if it’s both your first time - you’ll already have something in common and can bond over being newbies!

    5. Be Mindful of Body Language

    While talking, show that you are engaged and actively listening by nodding, smiling, and keeping eye contact. Also, be mindful of others' body language - if they are checking their watch or cell phone, they may be getting ready to wrap up the conversation. Mimicking body language 

    6. Break The Ice With A Compliment

    Everyone instantly feels more at ease when complimented. It’s a simple and non-intrusive way to get a conversation started, and there’s likely a story behind whatever you’re complimenting. And an added bonus, people tend to like people who like them. Win-Win. 

    7. Come Prepared With Anecdotes

    If you are nervous and get tongue-tied or have a hard time finding words when you’re meeting new people, have a couple of anecdotes or conversation topics prepared. That way, it will be something you know about and can speak to, and you’ll feel more comfortable - just don’t sound too rehearsed.

    8. Avoid General Remarks and Get Specific

    Make sure you’re asking questions that require answers to easily keep the conversation flowing. Avoid questions with yes or no answers and general observations - as it leaves little for another person to contribute. Instead, ask questions that require follow up, such as “Why is this only your first time coming to X?” Or “What’s been your favorite part about X so far?”

    9. Have an Out

    Another helpful tip when networking is to have a way to escape a conversation if you feel like your time is being monopolized. An easy and polite way to do this is to say something like “Well it’s been lovely meeting and chatting with you, I’m going to go see if I can find my friend I told them we’d met up”

    10. Relax and have fun!

    Don’t worry too much about how you’re going to navigate networking with strangers at the event, you’ll likely have people coming up and introducing themselves to you throughout the day and it will be easier than you think. The important this is to relax and have fun - enjoy yourself and you’re sure to make a great first impression!


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    Author: Rachel Mazzola