At networking events, you need to appropriately position yourself. In fishing, you go to where the fish are or where they will be. In networking, the same logic holds. Stand where you will most likely be amongst people. Near the entrance. At the buffet or bar. Close to other high traffic areas. Just like in real estate, location is key to your networking success.
If you stand outside the mainstream of human flow (or worse, sit off to the side), you virtually eliminate your opportunity for having anything productive come from the networking event – immediately or ever.
Assuming you have positioned yourself appropriately you will encounter people. And just like a parade, from your position people will go meandering by. From here it’s easy to catch someone’s attention, meet their gaze, extend your hand and simply say, “Hi”. From there, you’re well on your way to networking success!