It can be a very uncomfortable situation. From her post, the question from her friend reads:
So I arrived [at a networking event], immediately caught up with my old co-worker, and ventured into the affair. She got grabbed away immediately. And I found myself standing by myself in a room full of women already talking animatedly with one another. I did manage to say hello to a couple of people I knew, but almost before we could start chatting, someone would run up, hug ’em, and draw them into conversation. You can see my dilemma.
All the networking advice discusses what to say and what not to say to people at a networking event — but it doesn’t say how to get someone’s attention or break into a conversation gracefully if you happen to be attending an event by yourself.
GREAT QUESTION! Sandy’s response is really good, with practical tips for you to break into those small groups of people who are already engaged in discussion. Go read her tips — and then leave a comment (here or there) with your own ideas.