Preparing business cards for an exhibition

October 30, 2013 by  

Attending meetings and marketing events is part of doing business today, so company representatives need to present themselves and their companies in a professional manner. One of the most basic tools of business is the business card, which remains a vital means of conveying information; even in the digital age.

Business cards are still as popular as ever because they are small, easy to carry, and simple for the recipient to save. They can be tucked into a pocket or purse, then transferred to a file once the person gets back to their office. There is no need for them to try and type in information on a computer, phone, or tablet. If they prefer, however, they can scan high-quality business cards into their mobile device.
Play the numbers game

Since the word “exhibition” implies something like a trade show, it’s fair to assume there will be a lot of attendees. It’s probably best to take along several hundred cards, but carry only a small number at one time. For instance, if a person is going to attend a talk, then go to brunch, then have a long break, they might need fewer than 100 cards. It’s not reasonable to expect they will have time to talk to every other audience member, nor that they will be able to catch up to everyone at the meal.

The idea behind mingling with others is to make valuable connections, not hundreds of connections of little merit. The person should determine the number of fresh cards to carry by considering how many people will be at the event, and who they would like to meet. They can they carry cards for those people they are sincerely interested in contacting.
All in the appearance

When considering how the business card should look, the obvious answer is “professional”. Business cards are not the place for cutesy sayings, photos of the cat, or other personal material. In terms of content, the card should provide basic contact information, but selectively. The person could list their name, company, address, phone, and perhaps add email if that’s their preferred contact method, and then stop.

There is a temptation to put everything on the card, including the company slogan, alternate addresses, logos, and additional phone numbers. The end result is one of two things: a card that’s so jam-packed with information no one will read it; or a card on which the print is hard to make out because of its size. The card designer must avoid these traps.

There is also a temptation to create cards on a computer, since there are a number of programs to do this. While the results are passable, they are far less attractive than professionally-printed cards. This is one place where people should spend the money to have good-looking cards printed. The card should also be a standard size and shape.

A photo finish

Finally, if there’s room, people should consider putting their picture on their card. A smiling face is always welcome, and a reminder that this is a human being, not just a company, and someone worth getting to know.