A Dying Technology-Business Cards

Posted: June 11, 2016 in 2016 Events & Posts

businesscardsBusiness Card Statistics Data. 

  • Number of business cards printed daily 27,397,260
  • Number of business cards printed in the U.S. annually 10,000,000,000
  • Company sales increase for every 2,000 cards passed out 2.5 %
  • Percent of business cards handed out that will be thrown out in less than a week 88 %

source http://www.statisticbrain.com/business-card-statistics/

Networking Event

Last week I attended the “First Thursdays” networking event hosted by JLabs(Johnson and Johnson) at the Texas Medical Center Innovation center located here in Houston.  The intent of First Thursdays is to bring together company and business leaders, investors, founders, CEOs, and managers of start-ups within the Life Sciences community to socialize and build networks.

At this event attendees are given the opportunity to take part in a tour of the JLabs facility. This was my goal.

I attended the event last month but missed the tour due to a meeting that ran over schedule at work.  I was intent on making the tour this time. But what do you know? The same scenario happened to me again! Darn it!

Once I arrived and checked in the first question I asked was “Is the tour still going on?” The host answered, “Yes! The next one will be in five minutes.”  I was relieved.  I walked over to the tour waiting area but was the only person standing there. I figured I had few minutes to spare so I went to the restroom.

Once I got back the unthinkable happened.  As I was walking up I saw through a glass door, that separated the event area from the tour area, the last tour had started without me! I was in a panic. I waived my hands side to side. I saw the group walking away at a snail’s pace in slow motion.

A woman and a guy on the tour visually acknowledged me. The woman turned away as if not to see me. The guy looks at me and waves back. Yes, he was trying to be funny. I felt like giving him the Terry Tate Office Linebacker treatment.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbSpAsJSZPc

It seemed they had just started and I was one minute too late. Although I was crushed I thought it was a little comical. I decided to use that experience as an ice breaker for networking. I called it my “Left Behind Story”.

No Business Cards Needed

As I began meeting people, we would open up with the usual, name, rank and serial number introductory exchange. Then at the right moment I would interject the “Left Behind Story”.  As I shared it over and over everyone had a good laugh with me.

But what I found during the introduction exchange only a few people did ask for my business card.  I thought “This is unusual”.  Coincidentally I didn’t have any business cards with me but I did have my smart phone.

The first question I was asked “Are you on LinkedIn?”  The next person I met stated “Let’s exchanged contact information via Facebook.” These are all digital paperless methods.

The Ride Home

As I drove home it made me think “Why do we still use business card?”  I have hundreds of business cards in a box at home from people who never contacted me or returned my call.  The “Information Age” in my opinion is fast making the Business Card a slow dying technology.  Is the Business Card the next “Horse and Buggy” business case and scenario?

I am connected to more people via online networks. I can instant message them in seconds and get a response equally as fast.  Business Cards occupy space and only increase company sales about 2.5 % per 2,000 handed out.  88% percent of them are thrown away in less than a week.  Since Smart Phones are more affordable and becoming smarter (yes pun intended) I ask do we really need business cards?

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