With The Office* Show coming up in a few weeks I’ve been thinking about my networking plan for the few days that I am there. Earlier this year I wrote a post on how assistants can get the most out of attending events. It was quite a detailed post about my networking experiences so do check it out if you are going to any events this year. In the post I mentioned that I always come prepared with a list of networking questions in my head that I have now memorised and can whip out in case there is a loll in conversation… the questions aren’t exactly on the level of Oprah Winfrey but they get me by!

Here are 20 (and a little bit more) great networking questions you can ask other assistants when you meet at networking events:

  1. How did you get started as an assistant?
  2. Is there any particularly reason you came to the event today?
  3. Have you found anything useful or interesting at the event today?
  4. What did you think of the speaker / exhibition?
  5. Will you come back to this event next year?
  6. Have you been to this venue before? Did you find it easy to get here?
  7. Are you working on any important projects at the moment?
  8. What advice would you give an assistant starting out in the industry?
  9. Have you seen many changes in the profession since you started as an assistant?
  10. What are the most challenging aspects of the role for you?
  11. Did you manage to get a holiday this year? Where did you go?
  12. Do you read many assistant blogs or publications? Can you recommend any?
  13. Do you attend many other training courses? Can you recommend any?
  14. Are you a member of any PA associations or organisations?
  15. What industry do you work in? Is there anything unique to this industry for assistant to get involved in?
  16. Where else do you normally network?
  17. What is keeping you busy today? How many people do you support?
  18. Are you on Twitter or LinkedIn? Do you like using it for networking with other assistants?
  19. Are you from London (or wherever the event is being held)? What do you like about living here/there?
  20. Do you have much time outside of work to have fun? Do you socialise with your colleagues?

If you find you are struggling to get anything back from this person, move on. Life is way too short to struggle making conversation with someone that isn’t interested! Networking can be challenging but there is also so much you can get out of it so I really do recommend that you talk to a few people you’ve not met before. Push yourself and you will see how rewarding it can be.

As I said before I will be attending The Office* Show in London on the 8th and 9th October. I am arranging a little get together for all of the assistants that follow me on Twitter and also read the blog. Do get in touch if you are also attending the show and would like to meet up. It would be great to meet you all in person and obviously see a few friendly faces too! My twitter handle is @PracticalPA or you can email me on nicky@practicallyperfectpa.com.

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