If going into a networking event seems scary look for someone on their own and ask if it’s their first time at the event. If it is you can give each other moral support, if not they will probably introduce you to other people
Don’t go to sell sell sell! Be genuinely interested in other peoples’ businesses even if they don’t seem to have any sales potential for you. You might be surprised!
Remember networking is about getting and giving support and inspiration not just about sales. Once people know, like and trust you they will give you business and recommend you to others.
If you go to a networking event with someone else from your business don’t stick together circulate separately to make the most of the chance to meet people.
Chose the kind of event you will find the easiest. If your brain doesn’t wake up before coffee time don’t chose a breakfast meeting. If eating lunch makes you sleepy those are not the events for you. If you don’t like to talk or can’t hear well in a noisy environment chose smaller groups.
When you take someone’s card at an event write something brief on it to help you to remember who they were (pretty scarf/ curly blond hair/ has 3 dogs )
Contact people you met at an event but make sure that you send a personal email and that you have something relevant to say.