I try to make two or three solid connections with people when I attend live events. I want to spend enough time with those people where we keep in touch after the event.
To make good connections, you can't be the person who shows up slinging out business cards like a blackjack dealer. And you won't make an impression on people if all you do is talk about yourself.
Use these Ten Tips to make connections at Live Events
Instead of asking, "How are you?" ask, "How is your day going so far?" This can be a good one when you only have a moment or two with someone. It can be an excellent way to get a quick insight into the person in front of you.
Ask, "How do you know (mutual connection)?" If you have been paying attention, you should know you and the person you are talking to have a mutual connection. Ask how they know the person. Often, there is a good story attached.
Find a common interest. Maybe you are both wearing the same kind of shoes. Perhaps you overheard their conversation and learned they are a St. Louis Blues fan. Find the first common interest you can and begin the conversation there.
Do your homework. If there will be someone at the event you know you want to meet, do your homework before you get there. Find out more about them and have questions you want to ask. Or discover your common interest before you meet them.
Ask, "What brought you to this event?" You may get a good story. And it will lead you towards something to talk about.
Use a question instead of a comment. You can expect " thanks " if you say "nice earrings," you can expect "thanks." If you say, "where did you get those earrings" you can expect a story. It can be a good way to start a conversation.
Instead of asking, "What do you do?" ask, "What are you working on?" If you ask what someone is working on, you will get to hear about something they are excited about. If you ask what they do, you might get a simple answer about their job. If you want to know what someone is about, find out what they are working on. It may be writing a book or building a fire pit in their backyard, but you can be sure they are excited about the work.
Ask "Where are you from?" This is always a great conversation starter. Perhaps you have been to their hometown, which leads to a conversation. If not, ask about their town. Most people like to talk about where they are from.
Ask, "If you weren't here, where would you be?" You might find out about their family, or you may find out they love to fish. Either way, you will learn something about them.