I invited a client to a networking meeting I go to. He was skeptical, he's been to other programs and found them to be not productive. It was a great feeling to watch as he bonded quickly with the group and walked away with three good referrals. What made the experience exceptional for me is I prepared him for the meeting. He came ready and because he was prepared, he was successful.
The lesson learned: Research the networking venue before you go. Show up prepared and then work the meeting.