The holiday season is coming, and with it, personal and professional holiday gatherings. For many, the idea of making small talk with people you know, let alone those you don’t, is off-putting and depleting.

However, there are strategic benefits to meeting new people—you'll increase your network, learn something new, and perhaps meet someone with whom you sync. Going into these events with a strategy can reduce anxiety and maybe even get you excited about meeting someone new. Some helpful strategies include:

1. Be memorable.

If you want the contact to last long after the initial fleeting conversation, you need to be memorable. The first step is to find a common point of interest such as a favorite travel destination, color, your alma mater, hometown, or former employer.