With the advent of apps that create digital business cards it might seem like business cards are going out of style. Internet is so much easier and that is where most of the networking is done anyways, right? Wrong.
This past week I attended my first networking meeting and one thing that was said that resonated with me was “be present.” What she meant was to keep the cell phones off and make sure you are really connecting with the other business professionals in the room. And you know what? I left there feeling like I really met a few great connections.
Business cards were essential to this meeting. Everyone I met asked for my card and gave me theirs. If any of them stopped and asked if they could pass me their card digitally the energy of the event would have been compromised. As soon as a phone comes out a million distractions are sure to follow. Maybe they have a text they need to clear, maybe there is a missed call they will need to respond to, maybe one of their social media accounts needs attention. Whatever the case may be, taking out a phone to pass a digital card is sure to take the person out of the moment. Essentially this person will no longer be “present.”
This isn't just problematic for the person with the digital card but impacts everyone in the room. Many of these events are tight on time and everything must move along at a good clip. If someone using their phone to make their connections the flow of the room slows down. People might miss new connections and lose out on potential business opportunities.
Don’t be that person. Go to your meetings with the good old fashion business card and be present for your new contacts!