3 Creative Networking Ideas to Jump-Start Conversation

Help attendees better engage with other guests by providing tools and setups designed to start conversations.

Networking is a critical component of business success, but not everyone possesses strong networking skills. Event planners can assist attendees in making better connections by not only hosting dedicated networking events but also finding creative ways to encourage conversation. Meetings Net recommends these fun ideas to get the conversation rolling more easily:

1. Make-your-own nametags. Make-your-own stations are already popular for food, allowing people to customize what they eat. So why not let attendees customize their nametags, too, as a form of self-expression? Provide blank paper, markers and stickers, and then let imaginations run wild.

Bonus tip: Have attendees write a goal, a special skill or a random fact about themselves on the back of their nametags that fellow guests can inquire about as an additional conversation starter. Or ask people to create a badge for an alter ego.

2. Conversation wall. Use a large dry-erase board or other writable surface on which attendees can share thoughts, goals or expectations. For example, you can ask guests to write one thing they hope to accomplish during the event or list one item from their bucket lists.

3. Group assignments. Assign attendees to a set group that meets before and after the day’s activities to discuss predetermined topics, whether it’s hoped-for takeaways or the lessons learned. This will provide an opportunity for intimate conversation, as well as deepen knowledge obtained at the event.