Have you ever been cornered by someone at a networking event?  Did you struggle with how to end the conversation without ending the relationship?  Networking is all about creating and preserving relationships at all costs.  Therefore, you would never want to offend or hurt feelings in order to escape the conversation.  So, what does that leave one to do? Run to the bathroom? Or make up an excuse that you are dying of thirst and must grab something to drink.  These may seem like good options but are likely to just end with the person following you to the restroom or offering to go with you to the buffet.  You need to deliver a clear message that you are ready to be social with others but not because your present company is less than the best.  Here are three sure ways to end the conversation with confidence and without burning bridges.

1.  Best Option- “It’s been a.pleasure speaking.  Would you please excuse me?”  This neatly ends the talk with an air of formality.  This bit of formality is enough to signal that you are ready to move on and no good mannered individual should or could take offense when stated in a kind tone.”

2.  Next Best Option- “I’d love to chat with you more about this.  Could I call your office next week to set up an appointment to discuss this in more detail?”  This option allows you to save the feelings and ego of the person who has trapped you.  You are then free to meet others.

3.  Last Option-  “I came here to meet some people.  Shall we mix? ” or “Shall we mingle?”  There is always the chance here that the person will tag along with you.  If so, be gracious.  Perhaps, they struggle in such social situations.  Introduce the person around and try to help them network with others.

These three tips are guaranteed to help you, when cornered, at your next networking event.