If you hate networking, then you probably hate going to parties with large crowds of people. You're not alone. Devora Zack, author of "Networking for People Who Hate Networking," says that introverts thrive in small group conversations, but clam up in crowds. One simple trick for avoiding a networking nightmare is to show up early when there are fewer people [source:Zack].
As an early arriver, you have a chance to engage one-on-one with a few attendees before all of the noise and bustle sets in. You also have the luxury of making the first impression in people's minds before they are drowning in business cards and handshakes. In fact, you might have so many fruitful conversations in the first half hour that you don't have to stick around for the full networking event. Win-win!