Snubbed? Ouch. Sidling up to complete strangers who’ve already packed their scrums has got to be about the toughest part of this whole game – at least for any even moderately self-aware person. You just have to do it anyway – and take heart that those scrums form so quickly and tightly because all of them are just as chicken as the rest of us. They’d love to ‘work the room,’ but don’t have the guts, either.
If you take that deep breath and introduce yourself to everyone, you’ll find that the people who don’t want to reciprocate are largely the ones you don’t need to talk to – they aren’t making any connections that way, are they? The really useful people will be more than welcoming – and you will leave with the consummate admiration of the nongs who spent the whole evening talking to the coworker they came with.
It’s really that easy – it has to be, for politicians to get it right.