I love to go to networking events. It's what I do for fun really. I have, over the years, come up with a few tips that have helped me attend event after event with ease. I hope to share a new tip every so often.
This first tip seems strange, but it is crucial. One of the biggest hurdles to get motivated to go to an event is the fear of not knowing anyone there. Being in a foreign environment with a bunch of strangers can be a little unsettling. Just like a lion can smell fear, awkwardness gives off its own odor. Not being comfortable in ones space is not very welcoming. What you have to remember is that it is okay to be alone.
Personally I don't like to go to the movies or eat alone, but I wouldn't be a wreck if I had to. There are several tricks to overcome this problem. My favorite is to be hyper aware of the surroundings. Memorized the door, the floor, the light fixtures, the chairs; everything in the room. Act as if you will need to describe the scene to the police. This will relax you and engage your mind so you don't get board. It will also supply you with possible conversation starters.
I hope this tip helps when you attend your next networking event. What tips do you have? Does this help? Leave a comment and let me know.