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15 Icebreakers for Networking Events

Picture of Claudio Gutierrez

Claudio Gutierrez

President & Founder — Valens Project Consulting


Networking can be nerve-wracking, but a good icebreaker can help break the tension and start a conversation. Here are 20 icebreakers to use at your next networking event:


Conversation Starters:

1. “Hi [name], I’m [your name]. What brings you to this event today?” This is a classic and always-appropriate icebreaker. It shows you’re interested in the other person and opens the door for further conversation.


2. “I loved your presentation/talk earlier. What was your favorite part about [topic]?” If the event included presentations or talks, this is a great way to compliment the speaker and start a conversation about their topic.


3. “I saw you looking at the [food/drinks/entertainment]. Have you tried it? Any recommendations?” This is a casual way to start a conversation about something you have in common.


4. “Excuse me, but I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation about [topic]. I’m also interested in that. What are your thoughts?” This is a great way to join an existing conversation and show that you’re interested in the same things.


5. “I’m new to [city/industry]. Any recommendations for things to do/people to meet?” This is a great way to get advice from someone who knows the area or industry well.


Fun and Quirky Icebreakers:

6. “If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?” This is a lighthearted way to get to know someone’s personality and interests.


7. “What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned recently?” This is a great way to start a conversation about something new and interesting.


8. “If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would they be and why?” This is a fun way to get to know someone’s values and interests.


9. “What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?” This is a great way to get some wisdom from someone who has more experience than you.


10. “What’s one thing on your bucket list that you’re really hoping to do?” This is a great way to get to know someone’s dreams and aspirations.


Icebreakers for Specific Situations:

11. At a conference: “What’s your biggest takeaway from the conference so far?”


12. At a job fair: “What are you hoping to learn about at this job fair?”


13. At a meetup: “What’s your favorite thing about being a part of this meetup group?”


14. At a cocktail party: “What’s your go-to drink for networking events?”


15. At a professional association meeting: “What are you hoping to get out of your membership in this association?”


• The most important thing is to be yourself and be genuine.
• Ask open-ended questions that encourage conversation.
• Be a good listener and show interest in the other person.
• Follow up with the people you meet after the event.


I hope these icebreakers help you make great connections at your next networking event!


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