Being an introvert has made networking (a big part of my job) kind of scary. I always thought it would get easier as time goes on but some of those nerves are still around for me today.
That said, I know how important it is to put myself out there. Not only to expand my tribe but also to further my education (because we all know these events have things you can't learn in books).
Here are some things that help me:
Going (and carpooling) with a friend who has the like-minded interest of networking. This not only eases your nerves as you head over but also helps you talk up their services and vice versa.
Easing your day. Whether it's a morning or evening event, take time for yourself to meditate, watch tv or read a book, anything that helps ease your nerves.
Know that everyone is feeling the same way! Having this mindset helps me approach people and say hi because I realize they are just as nervous as I am.
And once you're there, enjoy the moment, collect business cards, and just know even if it's a bad experience it's done and you MIGHT make a connection out of it.