I have read a few posts regarding what to ask partners during networking, and many experts on PrepLounge recommended to ask questions about the partner himself, in order to show your interest in this person and build rapport.
On the other hand, partners value "smart questions". What would be some suitable "smart questions" for example? Given that I don't have much connection and common background with this partner, is it really suitable to ask him questions about himself (such as questions on his work experience)? This doesn't seem to be a "smart question" to me.
On the other hand, is it okay to ask him company specific questions (such as: what specific candidate profile are they looking for at this moment), project related question (such as, is XYZ type of project common in our local office), industry related questions (such as his view on XYZ trend). These are specific questions that I would really want to know, and the answers are not "easy to google". However, I'm not sure whether it is a "smart question" to leave a good impression.
Appreciate your advice!