Did you know that trading of cards for business and personal visits dates back to the 15th century in China and 17th century in Europe? They were about the size of a playing card and were used to announce the impending visit of some member of the aristocracy. By the late 18th and early 19th century, the idea of calling cards became a tradition opted by the rising of the middle class where instead of an aristocratic title, a business title was substituted.
As an avid networker, I always carry business cards on me. You never know when you’re going to meet someone who may need your services. Maybe not this week or even this month but somewhere down the line they just might and they will pull out my trusty business card.
I meet tons of professionals at various networking events. I’m handed their card and I have my own collection. At first I thought I would be super organized and bought a humungous binder with hundreds of slots, but I outgrew that quickly. Then I started throwing the business cards in a bag labeled with the year I met the individual- that wasn’t effective either.
Around 2014, I heard about CamCard- an app that could digitally read a business card and put the information into your phone- GENIUS! There were 2 issues, I had hundreds if not thousands of business cards accumulated by then and in attempting to enter a few cards I found it wasn’t exactly perfect and I was still manually entering in a lot of data. I gave up! My current solution is a bunch of business cards rubber banded together in groups in my desk drawer at the office.
The Rolodex may have died with the invention of email signatures, smartphones, and tablets but the business card is still going strong! Business cards offer branding and can leave a lasting impression. It’s a tangible piece of information that doesn’t get lost or erased if your phone/computer crashes- and let’s face it not everyone backs up their information! In fact, I met my significant other networking and he put my business card on top of his pile of cards!
Director of Business Development