Networking is an important aspect of any professionals life. There are several advantages in meeting and knowing more professionals from your discipline. By networking you have a ear to the ground on what is happening in your professional domain right in your backyard. You have the pulse on trends, techniques, tools and what each organization is struggling with. It also helps you bounce ideas of your fellow colleagues in the field who have varied experience and find much needed mentors. So if you have not been to a professional networking event in your field I would strongly recommend you do.
For Project Managers the local PMI chapter is a good start also there are several meetup groups with specialized topics that might interest you. Try to go for an event at least once in a couple of months.Your local PMI chapter should also have a lot of volunteering opportunities for you to give back to the community and to build some good relationships.
Over the years I have found that meeting people and honing relationships is a must do. It not only helps you but you also may end up helping so many other people.
When you do go to a Networking event you have two options 1) is to quickly move through the room handing off and picking up business cards. The advantage here is that you get to meet a lot of people and go back home and add them to your LinkedIn network and hit up the people you want to stay in touch with. Meet them for a casual after work coffee, you would be surprised to see the number of people who would be willing to meet up. The second option is to stay and build a relationship just with one person. This is a better option if you do not have much time outside your regular networking events.
Got for it !