There's nothing wrong with being shy, but sometimes you can benefit from putting yourself out there — like at a professional function that can further your career. Phil Kirkham of Atomic Object likes to gamify these interactions with small challenges.
For example, the 'Breakfast Challenge' is about approaching and talking to someone new at breakfast, and the 'Question Challenge' is to ask a question to the speaker at the end of every session. And then it's time to test yourself, according to Kirkham.
Follow these tips and then take The Restroom Test: take a walk to the restroom and back and see how many people that you did not know previously nod in recognition or say Hi. By the second day of the conference, I could count on getting at least 5 nods of recognition during my walk.
It's a neat and fun way of implementing the time-tested technique of expanding your comfort zone a little at a time.
3 Tips for Overcoming Shyness at Conferences [Atomic Spin]