Social functions can be great opportunities for meeting new friends or networking for business. The first step toward building a new relationship is making a proper introduction. As the host of a social function, it's up to you to make sure your guests feel comfortable and welcome at your event. If, on the other hand, you're the guest, you still have to pay attention to social graces.
When You're the Host
If you're hosting a party that mostly includes people who already know each other, it's important to make sure you introduce any newcomers to at least a few people to help them feel comfortable. Choose a few people who you think will have something in common with a newcomer, and say something such as "Fred," I would like you to meet Sally." Then provide some type of springboard for them to continue talking. For example, you might share that Fred and Sally both like snowboarding.
When You're the Guest
When you're the guest in a room full of strangers, look to the host to help you meet some of the people in the room. If that's not possible, seek to find common ground with someone and introduce yourself. For example, compliment a person on his clothing or ask what he thinks about a piece of art in the room. Following a short conversation, say something such as "My name is Charles, nice to meet you." If the person has some level of social etiquette, she should respond by telling you her name and continuing the conversation.
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