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Start with the Host

Chances are you actually do know at least one person in the room: the one who invited you. The thing is, though, she's probably also the host, and is busy opening the door or refilling the chip bowl. Susan Scott, author and executive coach, says it's fine to spend a few minutes catching up with whoever's throwing the party, thanking her for inviting you and asking if you can help with anything. But you don't want to monopolize her time, so after a few minutes, ask if there's anyone she thinks you should meet. And then just take the plunge and start mingling, either by seeking out the people the host suggests, or anyone else who seems friendly.