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How to Organize Business Cards

Organizing your business cards.

By
Stever Robbins,
January 12, 2010
Episode #116

Page 1 of 3

 

I just got back from a conference.

I just love conferences! People there don't know me, so they think I'm really interesting. I can tell them about my lame job, using words like "synergistic" and "paradigm-changing," and they think I'm the best thing since sliced hotdog buns. And they listen! I stand so they can't quite squeeze by me, and they're my new friend forever, because, of course, I'm going to follow up with them. I get their business cards, and by the time the conference is over, I have 20-30 new friends, all in the form of little 2.5" by 3" pieces of cardboard. Life is good!

If you haven't read my article on successful networking, it tells you what to do the moment someone gives you the card.  I've also covered what you should put on your own business cards.

How Should You Store Business Cards at an Event?

Life didn't used to be good once I got home, though. Thirty business cards is a lot. They would pop out everywhere! Some in my coat pocket, a few in my briefcase, seven jammed in my notebook. Four inside my socks. Don't ask. And the one I cared about most, that one person who was going to change my self-esteem forever by hypnotically convincing me I look just like Tom Cruise, their card was ... somewhere. Somewhere else. I needed a system.

My first attempt was putting everyone's cards behind my nametag (which, if you've been paying attention, you'll remember goes on the right). That worked for a while, but 30 cards takes up way more space than a nametag. After my third wine cooler of the evening, I would turn my nametag upside down in a vain attempt to be the hilarious life of the party. The cards would spill everywhere. Then I saw Melvin eating a pastrami and brie sandwich. He brought it in a Ziploc bag. I pretended to be interested in hearing about his bird-watching expedition. While he was talking about the medicinal properties of the Colombian Flavescent Warbler he smuggled into the country, I discreetly pocketed the Ziploc.

Now at a conference, I keep the Ziploc bag in my hotel room. At the end of the day, all the business cards I've collected go straight into the bag, then I zip it shut so the cards can't escape. Once I'm home, they smell a bit like pastrami, and have a few brie stains, but they're basically good to go.

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