Use LinkedIn as part your preparation process to attend your next networking event. A half hour of internet research could tell you exactly whom your contacts know that you WANT to know! How much easier could it be than to walk up to one of them and say, “I saw on LinkedIn that John Smith is one of your first level connections. I’ve been looking to meet him. Do you think you could introduce us?” Use a name whenever you can. Make it easy for someone to refer you!