The world is filled with conferences, open houses, receptions, galas, industry nights, summits—in short, networking events. With a finite amount of time, money and energy how do you know which to attend? How do you decide? Which one will pay off? Which event will enable you to meet that one person who is going to give you your break, your first round of funding, or the job you want? Is it the prestigious conference on the West Coast that is going to cost you five thousand dollars or will it be a free local arts event? It is actually hard to tell and the truth is we cannot know. But there is a way to decide. Culled from years of experience attending events and interviews with venture capitalists (of all things), here are the top three points that can help you invest in yourself and take risks like a pro.