I am not that great at remembering names. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been introduced to someone only to have their name fly out of my head almost immediately because I was nervous or distracted. It is not only rude and embarrassing, but also incredibly detrimental to building social & career connections.
Here is a brief overview from a Psychology Today
article on how to improve face-name memory:
1.) Look into the person’s eyes. The eyes are least likely to change over time.
2.) Use “deep” processing. Form associations between the person’s name and that person’s face (particularly the eyes).
3.) Find out the names ahead of time, when possible. People do better at learning names when they see the names ahead of time.
4.) Really listen when you’re introduced to someone. Give yourself an extra second to process the name and face better.
5.) Practice the face-name game at home. It's a skill, so as with any skill: practice, practice, practice! Practice on celeb’s names while watching your favorite movies or TV shows.
6.) Relax! When you are stressed out, your body unleashes cortisol through your bloodstream. Cortisol is a definite killer of all sorts of memories. So take a few deep breathes and relax.
Read the full article here
I also recommend the traditional exchanging of business cards whenever possible. I make it a point to jot down a few things about the person on the back of the card as soon after meeting them as possible. And of course technology can be a huge help if you find an app or system that works well for you. I add the caveat of "works well for you" because I often see people (and been one of them) not having the time or patience to master an app or system, and then in frustration they ditch all efforts. I have become a fan of Evernote and use Evernote Hello. Checkout this list of Top 15 iPhone Apps
for busy professionals by CIO.com
for more ideas.