Organize the Event Yourself
On the surface, organizing a networking event seems like a wildly bad idea for a person who hates networking events, but bear with us. One of the big problems with networking of any kind is the power imbalance [source:Clark]. When two strangers strike up a conversation, there is always a subtle jostling for position. Who is the one looking for a job and who is the one hiring? Who is the struggling entrepreneur and who is the established businessperson?
One of the easiest ways to boost your power rating is to be the one in charge [source: Clark]. Instead of approaching contacts yourself, people now have a reason to approach you first. Plus, as the organizer, you have the ability to choose the invitees. You can stack the deck, so to speak, so that everyone in attendance is a potential business partner or employer.
Of course, organizing a successful networking event isn't as simple as sending out an invite on LinkedIn. It helps if you already hold a leadership position with a professional association or civic organization. Failing that, think about friends who own, or perhaps work at a local bar, restaurant, or other gathering place. If you can invite an interesting speaker, that will also generate attendees. Some people will speak for free, especially if they can sell their books or DVDs afterward.