In college I was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity. On occasion we would have mixers (AKA parties) with a sorority on campus. They always started very formal and inevitably became raucous affairs where great fun was had by all. Of late, I have noticed that most of the business networking events I attend remind me of these mixers from my past.
First they are hosted by some local bar or nightclub. I don't have a problem with this because it provides ready access to a well provisioned bar. Second, the events are mostly attended by young business people. It is somewhat strange to be the oldest man in the room at some of these events! After a few cocktails, what started as a formal affair becomes a free-for-all. Nowadays, I tend to leave before the hardcore partying begins.
There are the inevitable insurance salesmen, financial planners (but I repeat myself), MLM scammers, bank representatives and health kooks. But every once in a while you meet someone absolutely brilliant: capable of strong conversation, rational insight and vibrant energy. And on those even rarer occasions this person becomes a client.
That's why I attend these networking mixers: to have a few drinks and to hopefully meet someone interesting. So get out there, you never know who you'll meet. At worst, you'll have a good time.