Three Icebreakers for SXSW Networking

sxsw icebreakersSo you are standing in a line at SXSW or waiting at the bar and someone you don’t know has just made eye contact with you.

That awkward moment strikes.

Your internal voice shrieks “you should say something.”

And then, the first thing that comes to mind is “sooo… amazing weather, huh?” leaving you filled with self-loathing for the world’s most unoriginal, impersonal icebreaker.

Later, by the way, to be followed by the second most unoriginal (but necessary) question: “what do you do, Steve?”

Here are three alternatives to checking the weather that I like:

  1. “where are you from?” quickly followed, if you discover you live in the same city, with “oh yeah? what part of town?”
  2. “what’s the gossip?” which half the time gets an immediate reply of “what do you mean?” to which you can define however you want, e.g., gossip about “the best party” “worst speaker” “most famous celebrity who snuck into town” etc.
  3. “how’s the network?” that (admittedly) is a geeky version of the weather icebreaker, but eminently more useful at SXSW, where you never know exactly how the wifi and 4g are going to respond

So, have fun out there at #SXSW2015 and don’t ask about the weather…because, ya know, in Austin it changes every 24 hours in the spring anyhow!