First, I started paying attention. It sounds stupid, I know, but I don`t think I was before. I was thinking about what I had to say, what I had to do, what I had to accomplish. Nope - that won`t work. When names are being said, names are the only thing I hear. I make a point of remembering that face and that name like nothing else matters, because, really, nothing else matters. If I`m not paying attention now, I`m offending someone later. Pay attention with as much focus as you can muster.
The second is to repeat the names right then and there. Repeat the name when it`s first said, IE: "And this is Bob." "Hi Bob.". And after all the introductions, I do a test run. "So you`re Bob, and you`re Joe, and you`re Sue, and Tammy, and Rick, and Manuel, and, umm, I`m sorry, I`m bad with names, could you say yours again? I`d hate to leave here not knowing it." It`s ok to not have a photographic memory, but make sure you`re straightforward about it. Not remembering eight names all at once won`t offend anyone. Leaving pretending you did, and trying to fake it later will. It`s best to get it all squared away before you split up.
Anyway, those two things help me tons. I got tired of asking friends who such and such is, ten minutes after introductions, or having to ask about the same person for three separate parties in a row. If anyone has other tips, I`m sure they`d be welcome. It`s an important thing to know. People like their names. I got the first tip from a friend of mine, and the second from a podcast, Manager Tools, which also ratified the first. The whole repeating the entire name order at the end and paying attention to faces is just something I do that seems to help.
Making limitless possibilities much more limited.