How to Figure Out the Name of a Person You Totally Forget but They Clearly Know You.
I went to a food blogging conference a week ago. About 650 food bloggers attended and about 80% of them were white women between the ages of 25 to 45. I stick out because I'm 1. Male 2. Asian 3. Gay. Consequentially everyone seems to know who I am and I NEVER remember who anyone is. Here how I tried to figure out their name.
- •Casually look at their name tag.This is probably the easiest to do but sometimes the name tag flips backwards. Also the way it hangs, it's basically at boob level so make sure you don't get caught or you'll look like a perv checking out their rack.
- •Bring along a non-food blogging person and have them at your side at all times.This year I'm dragging along my partner @AJ ! Whenever I run into someone that is all excited to see me and I don't have a clue who that person is, I automatically introduce the person to AJ with a "Have you met my partner AJ?" Then I just let them introduce themselves to each other. If the person doesn't give a name, AJ is pretty savvy enough to say "and what was your name again?" Yay AJ! (BTW, I do this with folks I DO remember as well, because it's just polite. So it's totally natural.)
- •Travel in packsIf you're in group of folks or even with one or two friends, you can pull the same move by saying "Hey, have you met my friend here?" This isn't as good as an outsider since they might know each other already and you'll miss the name exchange. But if they DO know each other, just fake it until the conversation ends and then ask your friend who that person was later.
- •Exchange business cardI bring a huge stack of cards and basically hand then out like candy. It's not because I care if you get my card or because I want you to visit my blog, it's because it's an easy way to get that person's name. And because so many cards are passed around, it's less of a faux pas to ask for the card again in a "wait, did we exchange cards? I can't remember!" casual, I'm so ditzy way.
- •Ask them "hey, are we connected on Twitter" Then ask for their handle.Look on your phone and check out their name via their social media handle. If you can't handle more people to follow, just mute them immediately. Or follow and then unfollow them after the conference is done. If they notice the unfollow, say it must have been a weird glitch in Twitter. Or just pretend to follow them but don't actually follow them. I know, it's awful. But my social media stream is cluttered as it is. You gotta do what you gotta do.
- •Start using a brand new social media channel and ask if they are on it.What you haven't heard of @list!?! You should be on it. Here, signup and find me! Oh I just joined Snapchat, so what's your username on there? Yeah, Periscope is the new thing. Are you on it? I'll follow you! Here, type out your handle in my phone so I can find you. There is ALWAYS a new social network to follow a person on. Use that to your advantage.
- •Just askSometimes, I'll just straight up ask them. Especially when I'm tired and don't have the patience to play games. "Wait. Remind me your name again? I'm terrible with names." Most folks understand....