It can be easy, in a world where an increasing amount of our information is stored in the cloud and the internet is used for scheduling, communications, and new meetings, to think that business cards are a thing of the past. But while business cards have been around for centuries, there’s a case to be made that they aren’t going away any time soon. When you give someone your card, at the end of a meeting or even over coffee, it has a very real weight to it, and is a good way to show that you have engaged and want to hear from them further. It’s a personal touch in a digital world.
Why do we use business cards?
It’s worth asking what the history is of this tradition which is still thriving today. The early “business cards” in Europe were ornamental and engraved “visiting cards”, about the side of a playing card, used by 17th Century aristocrats to announce their arrival in a town or at another aristocrat’s house. By the 19th Century, with mass printing becoming more common, it became the norm for the upper classes to leave their calling cards at houses they had visited, and tradesmen had “trades cards”. By the mid-20th Century these traditions had combined, and it was expected for every business, and every businessman, to be able to produce a business card.
How are they used around the world?
Despite the option of leaving business cards behind to use more technological means of connecting, they have remained popular around the world. Working with companies in Asia, Latin America or Southern Europe it can be especially valuable to exchange business cards, and to do so in the way that is most appropriate to the specific culture of the company and people you are working with, to form a respectful connection. There can be a surprising amount of complexity about the exchange of business cards, but for this very reason doing it correctly is a show of respect and understanding that can give more weight to a deal.
Business cards today
It can feel, with so much of our communication and connecting happening online, especially at present, that business cards are an unnecessary extravagance. However, good, aesthetically pleasing business cards do not have to be wasteful or expensive. The products offered by Duplo International, for example, can give your company the ability to effortlessly create sleek business cards at low costs for years to come.
With Covid-19 present in the world in its current state, it is likely that business cards will take a back pocket in some cultures. However, as long as all ordinances regarding social distancing are observed, meetings can take place, many of them likely often outside in the near future. In these circumstances, finding a safe and responsible solution, and giving your client the option of accepting it, is an excellent way to show that you mean business, and that you enjoy solving problems.
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