Business is about relationships. Yes, the internet allows us to make transactions without seeing or talking to a human being. But in terms of developing lasting relationships with customers and partners, that generally has to involve belly-to-belly conversation somewhere along the line. After all, we do business with people we know, like and trust.
Promotion vs. Prevention
The Harvard Business Review says people tend to approach networking with a mindset of either "promotion" or "prevention"
"Most people have a dominant motivational focus—what psychologists refer to as either a “promotion” or a “prevention” mindset. Those in the former category think primarily about the growth, advancement, and accomplishments that networking can bring them, while those in the latter see it as something they are obligated to take part in for professional reasons."
So those people with a "promotion" mindset, tend to approach networking with joy. It's something they want to do. They're excited and curious and open to whatever unfolds. The "prevention" people network because they have to. To them it's a necessary evil.
Since networking is vital to business growth for the small business owner, it would behoove you to adapt to the "promotion" mindset when approaching a networking event. Be positive. Step back and see what you can learn from those you meet, and how they can help you improve your business. Likewise, the eWomenNetwork approach as explained by Kym Yancey is to go to the event with the intention to give.
When we come from a giving place, everybody wins.