Have the right attitude!!!
Most people attend Networking Events with the wrong attitude or focus. They are so concerned by what they will get out of the event that they forget the goal of attending, which is to make connections with people you can help. If you take a servent attitude to the event and focus on finding ways that you can help others they will in turn start looking for ways to help you.
A great exercise to do at events is to play what I call the Networking Game. In the Networking Game you simply go into the event looking to find out at least 3 new pieces of information about people. By taking the focus off yourself you will find that you will become a more attentive listener and your nerves will calm down. But don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself.