Hello...... any suggestions on how to remember the names of guests at a dinner.

Hi every one. I am new to memory techniques and came to it (and here) after reading a Tony Buzan book during a long haul flight. That was a month ago and probably like the rest of you I am now bitten by the memory learning bug.
Managed my first set of cards…albeit extremely slowly and 30 random words (not much faster).
I am a late starter at the age of 53 and a total beginner, so whilst I may not have any world records in sight …I am still looking forward to the challenge of improving.

I have a question; I am attending a dinner in a months time which will have approximately 400 guests (40 tables of 10 diners). Can anyone suggest a a suitable method to memorize the names of the guests from the dinner programme against the table number? So, could list all the names at table 10 for example, or if given a name …give their table number.

Any thoughts as to the best way to approach this?

Thanks…and i look forward to the learning journey with you all.


First learn how to memorize one name and face:

If you can do this with one a couple of names it is time to scale it up.
Buy an app to help you do this, for example:
or on android:

Or try to find lists of names on the internet.

Hi Kinma, thanks for the suggestion. I do have trouble with names and faces so this is something that I intend to work on.

But…what I was really after is suggestions on how to recall the names (with the faces or even meeting the people) from the dinner programme. The menu and programme at the table will have a list of all the guests at the dinner and their table number…so, for example A.Smith - table 6; J. Susans - Table 1…etc etc. I just wondered if there is away of memorizing all the names and their table numbers?

Hi Solidair,

I would be tempted to create a 40 loci journey that you know reasonably well around, say, your house.

Add number pegs (using Major or Dominic System) to each locus in the house for the table numbers.

Then have 10 mini-journies attached to each peg in the way I have set out in my recent ‘Massive Memory Palace’ posts.

Perhaps you can work it so that the mini-journies mimic a table layout, but if not have a fixed starting position for each table and then work anti-clockwise around the table using an image that reminds you of the person’s name(s). And place that image consecutively along the mini-journey.

As an alternative you could simply link the 10 name-images together to each peg, but I would personally find that harder.


P.S. To go from guest name to table number/position, I think you might then need to rely on your good old ‘normal’ memory, once you have learned it the other way with a suitable number of repetitions. Although I suppose you could build in the table peg number into each image…

Thanks Gavino for the good suggestion. I’ll give this a try on a smaller group to start with and see how it goes, and if successful, build on that.