Different people will have a different policy on networking, but broadly I set out to tick off these criteria, in this order:
Am I likely to meet interesting and useful people?
Is this person remarkable? Do they have something to say, or a good track record, or good enthusiasm? (If not, move on – there’s nothing to see here!)
Can this person tell me something that informs my work and broadens my strategic sense?
Can we work together on something?
Is there an obvious win-win here that takes half the effort of the conversation itself