Do your research
Before attending a networking event, identify a few people that you would like to meet who you know will be in attendance. Make it a point to learn a bit about them and if you can, shoot them an email before the event to let them know you’re looking forward to meeting and chatting with them. This will take some of the pressure off your eventual meeting and give you something to discuss right off the bat, especially if you mentioned something specific to talk about in your email. Avoid these annoying email habits to make a great first impression.
Have a go-to icebreaker
Prepare a few conversation starters before the event so that you will have a few failsafe talking points to bring up, no matter who you wind up talking to. That way, you won’t end up scrambling for something to talk to or resorting to bland topics that will render you forgettable. These magic phrases can save any awkward conversation.