Speed Networking Questions: Top Tips to Maximize Conversations

So, you’re hosting—or attending—a speed networking event. That’s great! Speed networking events are one of the most effective forms of networking. But because of the fast-paced nature of speed networking, it’s important to ensure attendees are making the most of their time. Each second counts and putting together a list of speed networking questions is key to maximizing conversations and creating meaningful connections for your attendees. 

Here’s how to get started. 

Determine what you want your speed networking questions to do.

The first step in putting together speed networking questions is to determine what goals you want them to help you achieve. Are you using the questions as icebreakers to help kick-off the conversations? Or are you preparing them to help attendees better get to know one another on a professional level? Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to dive deeper from surface-level chit chat and ask the things that lead to meaningful conversations and connections. 

Maybe you’re using them simply to help guide the conversations. Whatever your purpose may be, speed networking questions can completely make or break the outcome of the event. So, let’s see how to set yourself up for success. 

Decide on a distribution plan.

Next, you’ll want to decide how to distribute your speed networking questions. At the actual event, things will be moving fast so thinking ahead and planning accordingly is key. Here at SpeedNetworking.com, we’ve hosted thousands of events for a wide range of clients—from Fortune 500 companies and top trade associations to smaller chambers of commerce and local event management organizations—and we’ve learned a thing or two over the years. 

We’ve found that it’s best and most beneficial to distribute your speed networking questions ahead of time. In fact, we actually work with our clients (who are event planners just like you) to come up with questions well in advance of the actual event. 

That way, when attendees register for the event, they can answer the questions to give a brief background about themselves and let the people they’re networking with have an idea about what they want to talk about. 

Interested in learning more about how we do this? Learn more about us and our program here.

However, if you’re not using our software (although we hope you will), you can still distribute questions early via email or print them and hand out as people walk in. Generally speaking though, the sooner the better. That way, people have time to properly prepare instead of answering them on the fly. 

Okay, you’ve determined what you want your questions to do, you know that you need to distribute them ahead of the actual event, but you’re stuck coming up with the questions themselves. 

Don’t worry. We’re here to help. We’ve included some sample speed networking questions below. But first, let us note that a quick introduction/quick elevator pitch is pretty standard to start off with at the beginning of each round. After that, these are some great questions to ask. 

Speed networking questions for peer-to-peer events:

  • What brings you here? What are you hoping to take away from this event?
  • How long have you been with your current company? What do you like most about it? What would you change about it if you could?
  • What’s a project you’re proud of?
  • What does a typical work day look like for you?
  • What path do you see yourself taking from here? What do you need to make that happen?

These questions are great because they help attendees learn right away what their partner is looking for. Networking is all about providing long-term value, not short-term transactions. These questions help answer how YOU can help THEM. 

Questions for mentor/mentee events:

Speed networking questions for mentors to ask:

  • What first made you interested in this industry/field?
  • Did you always know this was what you wanted to do?
  • What experience (if any) do you have? And what type of experience are you hoping to gain?
  • In an ideal world, what does your career path look like?
  • How can I be best of help to you?

Speed networking questions for mentees to ask:

  • What advice do you have for someone at this point in their career?
  • How can I set myself apart and continue to grow in this profession?
  • How did you get to where you are today?
  •  What do you think the most challenging part of working in this industry is? How did you overcome those challenges?
  • What technical and what soft skills are most important in this profession?

Mentor/mentee events are great to pair experienced professionals with those looking to gain knowledge and experience. For mentoring events, it’s important to make sure the people you’re pairing together share the same interests and work in the same relative field. That might sound difficult to do, but it’s not. We have an advanced matching software that pairs like-minded people together at the touch of a button. 

We hope these speed networking questions will help your attendees make more meaningful connections! Networking can be an intimidating thing, even for the most outgoing people among us, so providing prompts to help keep the conversations going can help people feel much more comfortable and at ease. 

If you’re interested in learning more about our software that pairs like-minded professionals and asks questions ahead of time, let’s chat. Our software is completely customizable and can save you hours of administrative time that it takes to plan a successful session or event. In addition to providing more structured and strategic networking, we also assist with marketing, room-set up, email auto-responders, on-site facilitation, and post-event ROI analysis. 

What are you waiting for? We want to help you work smarter, not harder.