Business events and trade shows can offer a variety of benefits. One of the main reasons they are so useful is the opportunity to network with other industry professionals. Secondly, the chance of meeting people who can be turned into new customers is high. Networking can often lead to new employment opportunities. The key is to get the most out of the networking event. To do that, you’ll want to remember key people’s names. But that is not as easy as it sounds for busy professionals. Check out these tips for helping remember names at a networking event.
What’s Your Name Again?
1. Associate Their Name with a Trait
As you begin to visit with other attendees, you’ll learn a variety of things about them. Try to remember those details and facts so you’ll have them for future conversations. While talking to them, pay close attention to the information they are sharing. Details can be used for memory triggers. Maybe Tyrone likes soccer, or Patti sells toys. You can nickname the person in your head to help you remember the person. Mentally they become Soccer Tyrone and Toy Patti.
2. Put Their Info and a Clue in Your Phone Immediately
Technology can be a useful tool to help remember names. When you meet someone at an event, and you want to remember them, add their contact info to your phone immediately. One helpful tip is to put their first name, then a period, and the name or abbreviation of the event as their contact name. When you scroll through your phone, you’ll remember exactly when and where you met them.
3. Introduce Them to Another Person
It’s likely you already know a few people at a networking event. Use this to your advantage in a couple of ways. When you meet a new person introduce them to someone you know or someone you just met. When making introductions, make sure to use both of their names. This helps you remember their names. It also makes you look personable and like a great networker.
4. Create a Visual Image to Remember a Name
Networking events are often stressful for people, especially introverts. One way to relax is by playing a little name game. Each time you meet someone new, create a visual image to associate with their name. Maybe their name sounds like another word, so you easily connect the two. For example, if you just met James Foster, think of Foster’s beer. It’s easier to remember names than words, so this exercise can be helpful for triggering your memory when you need to recall their name.
5. Ask Them How They Spell Their Name
There are many benefits of providing event attendees with name badges. But if your event planner wasn’t on the ball and didn’t provide them, it can make it harder to remember names. To help you remember a person’s name, try asking them how they spell their names. People generally appreciate the action, but it can also be a helpful icebreaker and conversation starter.
6. Use Their Name in a Conversation
After hearing a person’s name, use it in the conversation immediately. When they introduce themselves or are introduced, it may go something like this, “Hi, my name is Joan.” Include their name in your immediate reply. For example, “Hi Joan, what are your main responsibilities?” You don’t have to go overboard and repeat their name over and over. But if you add it into the conversation a couple of times, it helps create a distinctive memory.
7. Try to Avoid Distractions
Events can be distracting with lots of people around. Most of them are new to you. An evening event may include alcohol, which can make it more difficult to remember new names. Make an effort to focus on each of your conversations. If you are easily distracted, it can make it harder to remember names. Try to ignore the background noise and movement and focus on each conversation. When you listen, and not just hear, you can increase the chances of remembering essential information.
8. Associate Names with Features
Another way to remember a person’s name is to associate it with a feature. Make sure it’s a feature that is permanent. For example, clothing doesn’t work since people change clothing. “John in the blue suit” won’t be helpful since he may dress casually tomorrow or wear a different suit. Try matching a physical feature with their names. Something like their eye color may be helpful. Mentally refer to them as “Jimmy with the cool blue eyes.”
9. Confirm You Have Their Name Correct
Networking events can get pretty noisy. It is a good idea to confirm you’ve heard someone’s name correctly. You may repeat their name back to them to confirm you heard it right. If it is an unusual name you can ask them to spell it. You may also ask about the history of an unusual, unique name. Asking a person to repeat their name is not annoying. Instead, it demonstrates that you are interested in learning their name correctly. If attendee name badges are being used, you may ask what they prefer to be called, or if they have a nickname they prefer to go by.
10. Write Something Memorable about Them on a Business Card
Many people still use business cards as a quick way to share contact information. It’s a great place to write down key information you want to remember about the contact. You may write that Fred is a business coach, or that his son is headed off to college soon. When you revisit the information in a future conversation, it will make you look amazing.
Note to Event Planners
Savvy event planners know to include name badges as part of their networking events. Name tags are a useful tool for helping your attendees connect, which is one of the reasons many professionals attend events. Let Name Tag Pros make your event look even more professional with high-quality name badges. We have a variety of affordable options. Make your event even more memorable by including the full-color logo of the hosting company or group.
Call us today and let us help you design a great event name badge that will help get the conversations started.