A good development officer understands the value of working the room. Whether it is a small house party, a large gala or luncheon, or even just a tour it is important to make a special connection with your guests. Everyone has a different capacity of how many new people they can meet at one time.
Some people could meet people all day; they love it, and are really wonderful in new environments. Others, if not most people, can meet a handful of people but start to get tired especially as they see lots of new faces. Know what kind of person you are and plan accordingly. Taking time to greet your guests is essential to the ongoing success of your events. As your time with an organization grows, you will find that you know more and more people and that less of the individuals in the room are totally unknown to you.
If a large part of the room is unknown to you, meet people intentionally and strategically and do it in phases with which you are comfortable. Do not try and spend every single second meeting new people or an hour in you will find that you have nothing left to give your guests the rest of the evening. Take a few minutes to meet new people and then take a break and talk with some of the guests that you already know. Allow your conversations with your new guests to take a little bit more time if you are have a great time. Those kinds of moments will breathe life into your other conversations. Use the people that you know, the table captains, board members, and volunteers, to participate in introducing you to those at their table.