I have attended many conferences and networking events over the course of my recruiting industry career. Almost all
have been interesting and worth the investment. Of course, there are the odd few that do not
fall into that category. Either co-workers stepped on my toes, literally and figuratively, or the presentations were out-dated or redundant, or conference attendance was so low and the prospects so few that the cost of exhibiting or merely attending lacked real value…
Conferences I ventured off to over the last couple months didn’t fall into any
of the categories above. The information shared was credible, valuable, and current. Additionally, attendance was up
– this is a very good sign… But
I did notice an interesting trend. Fewer and fewer people are carrying business cards. And if they did have them, they only had a few and were rationing them very carefully. Saving them for the best dance partner, I guess.
As an exhibitor, many times, I felt like a second-rate belle of the ball, as attendee after attendee just asked if I could just scan the code off their conference ID. Biz cards seem to be prehistoric, less valuable, but what I noticed all around me were connections lost. The little piece of cardstock in my hand, tucked inside my brief case, in my planner, represented a meaningful conversation with a new acquaintance and I missed the sometimes frantic trading of cards. Even vendors shared fewer pieces of tangible information.
Details that identify who
I am, what
business I work for, and various ways to reach
me are important to me. I will always
carry a business card. I will always
offer it first. I will always
be willing to share specifics about who I am and how I might be able to help you. I think with the onset of multiple social media sites that individuals may think that a small indentifying piece of paper might be unnecessary now. Untrue.
The people I remember are those ones who pressed a card into my palm. That connection is every bit as real
as a handshake, if not more
so, for it is tagged and you take that tag with you. A business card makes you more searchable on a desktop, on an actual
desktop - not a virtual one. So..., if that is how I
feel, others may feel the same. That conversation with Rayanne was more memorable because she shared details of how to reach her and the deets were etched in a card that included multiple ways to connect.
There was no "facebook me" or "find me on LinekdIn" or "follow me on Twitter." That was left in the receiver's hands, literally.
My card is on a couple desks out there. Exactly
where it is supposed to be.