Easy Conversation Starters That Will Engage The Most Hesitant Person At Your Next Trade Show

Starting conversations at a trade show can sometimes be challenging, especially when you’re approaching strangers. Here are some easy conversation starters that can help break the ice and initiate meaningful interactions:

Compliment or Comment on the Booth

Show genuine interest by asking about their company and what they do. “Tell me more about your company and the products/services you offer.”

Discuss the Event

You can always start by discussing the event itself. “Have you been to this trade show before? What do you think about it so far?”

Shared Experience

If you’re attending the same workshop, seminar, or presentation, use that as a starting point. “I just attended the session on [topic]. What were your key takeaways?”

Industry Trends

Mention a recent trend or development in your industry and ask for their thoughts. “Have you noticed the growing trend in [industry trend]? How do you think it’s impacting our sector?”

Breaking News

If there’s been recent news related to your industry, use that as a conversation starter. “Did you hear about [news]? How do you think it will affect our industry?”

Ask for Advice

People generally like to share their expertise. Ask for advice or insights related to their area of expertise. “I’m exploring [topic]. Do you have any advice for someone getting started?”

Name Tag Reference

Use the person’s name from their name tag to create a friendly atmosphere. “Hi [Name], how has your experience been at the trade show so far?”

Open-Ended Questions

Ask questions that can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” For example, “What motivated you to attend this trade show?” or “What challenges are you currently facing in your business?”

Mutual Connections

If you have any mutual connections or acquaintances, bring them up. “I noticed you’re connected with [Name]. How do you know each other?”

Food and Beverage

If there’s food or beverages available, this can be an easy conversation starter. “Have you tried the [food/beverage]? It’s really good.”


If the event is in a specific city or venue, ask if they’re familiar with the area. “Is this your first time in [city]? Any recommendations for places to visit?”

Goals for the Event

Inquire about their objectives for attending the trade show. “What are you hoping to achieve at this event?”

Hobbies and Interests

If you notice any personal interests from their attire or accessories, use that as a conversation starter. “I see you’re a fan of [hobby/interest]. I am too!”

Use Humor

A well-placed light-hearted comment or joke can often put both you and the other person at ease.


Remember, the key to conversation starters is to be genuine and approachable. Listen actively to the other person’s responses and build the conversation based on their cues. People appreciate when you show interest in what they have to say, so focus on creating a meaningful exchange.

Article written by Michael Gugliotto

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