You should always choose your location carefully. Networking requires restraint and self-discipline. Calculate every interaction to give a positive impression.
Here’s what to do when you think the risk could be higher than the reward:
Focus on the celebration and celebrant. This applies when you are at a celebration with an honored guest. You don’t want to shift the focus back to you and distract and detract from the purpose of the gathering in the first place.
You can still network even if you focus on the celebrant, but try to do it in a subtle way. It’ll be easier for you to gain people’s interest if you can get them to talk about themselves and what’s important to them.
When forming your networking questions, ask something related to the honoree. Don’t forget to listen. You’ll gain more power once you know about the honoree and his or her value.
Watch the time. There may be times when an event is still running way past closing time. If this happens to you, know when to leave. Try not to stay longer than you intend to avoid seeing any messes made by inebriated attendees. Hearing loud fights between couples or seeing the silly dance on the table won’t benefit you or them.
To avoid issues, watch the time and get up to leave when the party begins to shift.
Help and be sensitive. This applies in tragic situations. Since the gathering is all about the survivors and victims, it is not the time for you to network with other people for your own advantage. Instead, leap into action and help those who are in need, in your own way.
Put others’ interests above your own. When you’re at a children’s party or event, don’t put your needs or interests above the celebrant. You can still talk to people, but share your common frame of reference. Be a part of the event and participate as much as you can. It is better to focus on the event and enjoy it.