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Are paper business cards a thing of the past?

A few months ago I attended a social event at a well-known chef’s home in Southern California. In attendance were about 40 people – all of us were fans of the chef. Plus it was co-hosted by Silver Oak Winery.

So, it was a pretty big deal. I couldn’t help but notice that in addition to a professional “emcee”, there was a guy running around taking care of every detail to make sure all guests were taken care of and every detail was attended to.

So, at the end of the event, I had a chance to catch up with that guy. Turns out, he has a business specializing in event management. So, I asked him for his business card.

The look he gave me was priceless. “Oh, I don’t have business cards. But I can tap your phone and share my contact information.” He made it clear that times have changed and paper business cards are a thing of the past, and frankly unnecessary from his point of view.

So I waited for a few minutes. When we had a chance to talk again, I just had to bring up the subject of business cards.

I said to him, “So in a few weeks or months, when I am looking for an event planner, how do you think I am going to get in touch with you? I likely will not remember your name, so I will have zero chance of finding your contact information inside my phone.”

However (as I handed him my card), I am handing you my paper card right now. The paper on my card is not coated, so when you get home you can write a note on the back of it, or note the date we met. And if you want to get back in touch with me, you’ll be able to go through the stack of paper cards you have on your desk and find me. My card has a unique look (it’s a pale Lavender and has my initials as my logo) so it will stand out.”

And that’s all I said.

Before we left, he came back up to me and told him he was going to order business cards the next day, as he realized that he hadn’t thought of the consequences of going completely paperless.

As for me, I never leave home without slipping a few business cards in my purse or bag. Even if I am going out socially, I have found that there are so many times I want to get back in contact with someone and so, I hand out my card.

Whether or not you are in business, and even if you are not in sales, it doesn’t cost much to have business cards printed. What if you are attending a big social event and meet someone new you want to keep in touch with? How easy it is to share your card – no need to list your address; just list your mobile number and email? And if you really want people to remember you, put your photo on your card.

So are paper business cards a thing of the past? I vote that “everything old is new again”. And paper cards are definitely back in.

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