To work a room in regards to networking, an individual should use current contacts to meet new contacts, sit or stand next to someone they don't know, pay attention to the body language of others, and ask open-ended questions. It's also good to be selective when handing out business cards.
Since not everyone is good at introducing themselves to strangers, doing so can be easier if the individual knows someone in the room who can help him meet new people and potential business contacts. Networking is usually easier if the individual doesn't spend a majority of his time with individuals he already knows. Sitting next to a stranger during the networking event increases the chances of an individual meeting new people.
Paying attention to body language and how people are grouped are good ways to determine whether or not other individuals are open to welcoming new people to the group or talking to others. An individual should also make sure he maintains open body language, such as keeping uncrossed arms, making eye contact, and smiling to convey his willingness to talk to new people.
Open-ended questions help keep a conversation flowing and allows for the exploration of new ideas and opinions. Even if a connection isn't made, the individual may come away from the encounter with new knowledge and insight.