I want to tell you about an embarrassing moment for me last year at Creative South. If you know me, you know I have a pretty good memory and I have a pretty good recall on faces. You might have to tell me your name but after that I should get it. I am a teacher after all, I know how important it is to remember people by name. It is essential to making them feel like you care and like they matter. (Which they do.)
I follow a lot of people on social media. I do my best in the weeks before the conference to make sure I know your face and your name, especially if we have conversed a good deal. So people who don’t use a photo will probably be able to pick me out but I won’t be able to recognize you, unless you have your logo on your shirt super big.
We think someone would know us by our profile picture and Lord knows I try. But help someone like me out and make your profile picture be filled with your face front and center. YOUR FACE is what people will look at to try and recognize you. Make it easy for them to pick you out.
So here is the situation:
I have had multiple conversations with person x, you expect to see them at the conference you both are attending. You try and look up pictures of them but mostly they post pictures of their work not selfies, which we expect from designers, illustrators, artists, etc. But sometimes I need a picture of person x (at least every once in a while).
Last year I was working the registration table at my favorite conference, Creative South and I am checking people in. Person x comes up and tells me their first name and I can tell is expecting me to know the rest because we have talked. But I don’t know this person. It was a handsome, young man (there are tons of those at creative south) and I am like… Oh no! I don’t recognize them, panic. Shear panic ensues.
The anxiety talk in my head is shouting “You are supposed to know this person DUMMY!” The Rolodex in my head is scanning for the right person then person x reveals his last name. AND YES I DO in fact KNOW THEM.
But I didn’t recognize them because their profile picture was from the side and I honestly can’t recognize anyone from the side. So help a virtual friend out and change your profile picture at least two weeks before a conference. (tweet that)
Do it so people like me can say “hey” when I see you. Do it so people that admire you or your work can come up to you and tell you why you inspire them. Do it so your virtual friends can recognize you and give you a hug.
Just a tip from the awkward girl at the registration desk trying to recognize her friends.