What questions can you ask at a networking event?
Networking isn’t just about meeting people, showing your face at an event, promoting your company, and collecting a load of business cards. The questions you ask, and the conversations that can develop from asking those questions, are key to making your networking a success.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of questions to consider asking at your next networking event. By asking these types of questions, you should be able to obtain useful information and build up a strong list of contacts to help take your business further.
Example Questions you can ask at the networking event
These questions can allow you to quickly learn about the industry a person works in, their job role, business interests and aims. They can also lead to other questions about their business.
Once you have introduced yourself, these questions are good to open with:
- How did you hear about this event?
- What brings you here?
- Who else have you spoken to here?
- What do you think about the event?
- Have you go a lot out of the event?
- What other networking events have you been to?
This will help ease you into a gentle conversation, rather than launching into heavier questions about a person’s line of work.
Questions about their job
You can find out the name of where a person works, and sometimes their job title, just by looking at their name tag. But these questions allow to you to learn more about their job and the company they work for. You can also learn whether or not what they do and where they work could benefit your business – or if your business could benefit them.
- I see you work at –––––– What’s your role there?
- What does your job involve?
- What does your company do?
- What are your main job responsibilities?
- How long have your worked there?
- How do you find your job?
Questions if they run a business
These networking questions are good to ask, specifically, if you find out they are a business owner or business manager.
- What does your business do?
- When did you start up your company?
- Why did you decide to set up your business?
- What are your main business aims?
- What have been the main challenges n developing your business?
Questions they’re an employee or employer:
- What do you enjoy most about what you do?
- What’s the size of your company?
- Where are you based?
- How has your company developed?
Questions about their business career
These questions are good to ask to learn about a person’s previous job and sector experience, as well as key business skills and interests. You can also find out about other companies in their contacts book that might be worth speaking to, and that they could put you in touch with.
- Where else have you worked?
- What other sectors have you worked in?
- Where did you start your career?
- What took you in this direction?
Questions about them
These allow you to move away from the more business-focused questions, encouraging a person to open up while allowing you to see if you share similar interests.
- Where are you from?
- How long have you lived there?
- What do you do outside of work?
- Where else do you normally network?
Questions to keep in touch or meet up
These networking questions allow you to follow up and get in touch with a person at a later date. Depending on the outcome of your networking, they are best to ask when your conversation is drawing to a close.
- Your work sounds really interesting. Please can I have your business card so we can keep in touch?
- Your work sounds really interesting. Would you like to meet up for a coffee sometime so we can chat further?
- Are you interested in meeting for a coffee sometime next week? I’d love to hear more about —–
- Your line of work really interests me. Is there anything I/my business can do to help you?
What to bear in mind when asking your questions
It’s important to mention that these are just some examples of good questions to ask at a networking event. They don’t all have to be asked, nor asked in the order given. They should just give you an idea of those questions and key topics that can allow you to find out useful information to help you and your business.
You should always aim to ask open questions that can give you more information, which will prevent people from just giving you a yes or no answer, while helping a conversation to flow. Also, use your judgement to decide what questions will be good to ask, and when, in order to not prevent a conversation from flowing.