If I can avoid it, I try not to go to events alone. It’s more comfortable to network when you have a buddy. You don’t look creepy standing in the corner looking at your phone as though you were really checking new messages. In reality what you are doing is texting people to see if anyone is coming, or checking your twitter feed, or FB wall.
It’s easier to talk to strangers when you are not alone. But if you do happen to find yourself alone at a networking event, then go and talk to the other lonely people there. It’s hard to introduce yourself to a group of people who are already engaged in conversation. But the lonely person will be more than happy to talk to you. You then make a buddy and you can work the room together.
Today, I talked to the lonely person at the event, who unbeknown to me was the keynote speaker. No one was talking to him. I should have known he was the keynote speaker since I was at a women’s event and he was the only guy, but I digress. It was great to approach him, and get about ten minutes of one on one conversation.
Just don’t sit in the corner looking creepy, go and talk to the person that is doing that, and work the room together!