Can you think of other links that help you to remember in a more brain friendly manner?
I am really good at remembering names, but it isn't a natural thing. I actually have a neat trick for remembering names, and if you're bad with names, this might help you too. It's called READ to remember names. I admit, I am a mnemonic guy, and I love acronyms, so this works for me very well.
R - Repeat. Repeat the name back to the person, try to do full name, and say it correctly, as soon as you hear it.
E - Examine the name. Think if you know anyone else with the name, and if so, try to relate a characteristic of this person to the other person you know. If it's a unique name, try to see yourself spelling or writing the name down on a piece of paper. I actually type it in my mind, as I type 80 wpm. Picturing which fingers would depress the letters in their name is very helpful for me.
A - Ask about the name. If you've never heard of the name, ask about the origin. Ask if the name was given to them because of family history, or from a favorite aunt or uncle. Tell yourself the story in your head.
D - Deliver. Deliver the person to someone else, including the name, a small bit of the examination, some of the story you heard, and then say the name again.
This method works very well for me. I've shared this strategy with many others, and the people who used this method are remembering many more names than they were before. If you have trouble remembering names, this is an easy exercise to work into your networking events. If you do give it a shot, please let me know how well it's working for you.