You see them whenever you attend a networking event. They lurk at the back of the room.  They’re the first ones to the buffet line. They pick a table which has no one sitting at it. They eat their food, listen to the speaker, then are the first ones out the door.

You might wonder to yourself what they are doing.

They’re waiting.

They’re waiting for someone to come over and say hello. They’re waiting for their clients to walk up to them. They’re waiting for this whole painful networking thing to be over.

They’re waiting for “networking” to happen to them.

So at this point, two Rules should be coming to your mind:

  1. Don’t be them. Control your own networking destiny. Seek out the people you want to talk with.  Make plans to meet tomorrow or the next day. Sit at the table that has only one or two seats left. First, accomplish your networking goal. Then sit and relax.
  2. Help them. There’s a good chance that the “sitter” is a new networker. They don’t know that they need a networking goal. They desperately want someone to rescue them. Help them out. You will be a superhero in their eyes.
Sitting at a networking event is fine during the presentation (if there is one) and up to ten minutes before. Otherwise you should be on your feet making connections and meeting new people. Don’t be the person who walks out of the gathering saying to themselves “What a waste of time. I couldn’t find anyone good to talk with”, when in fact you never looked in the first place.