Is it safe to hand out business cards?
When the world was struck with the COVID-19 pandemic, so many pieces of our day-to-day life changed immediately. Simple tasks and events that were normal occurrences quickly became dangerous and grounds for a negotiation of personal boundaries.
Just over a year ago, we were planning to attend large trade shows or conferences with thousands of people in the same space, shaking hands, trading materials, or maybe even offering hugs for the more familiar connections. It all seems like a world away from where we are today.
The New York times discussed their findings of a survey with epidemiologists and infectious disease experts that determined it would likely be a year or more before they would feel comfortable hugging or shaking the hand of a friend.
This of course isn’t surprising, as the first piece of advice we were given when the pandemic started was to limit physical touch as much as possible to reduce the chances of spreading.
So now comes the question, will people feel safe receiving or handing out business cards?
We’re hopeful that life is starting to return to “normal” as vaccines begin to roll out to more and more people across the world. Governments around the globe are moving quickly to facilitate accessibility to the vaccine for all their constituents. Some experts believe that these factors will lead to a return to normalcy by May of 2021, while others believe it won’t be until 2022 that life feels normal again.
All this to say, even with a vaccine, life and the way we conduct ourselves will be very different for a while. So even though we may return to the conferences or trade shows, how we conduct ourselves at those events will be very different from what we’re used to.
A central change for 2021 and beyond will be the removal of handouts, business cards, and any paper materials. These methods were inefficient to begin with and wasted a lot of resources for very little ROI. Now, after a year of living in fear of every surface we touch, business cards and paper handouts will likely be a memory of the past.
This problem expands beyond our large scale events and into our normal dealings on a smaller scale. For anyone who relies on handing out materials for their products or services, the potential threat of traded paper materials will be a big challenge to business. Consultants, real estate agents, lawyers, sales professionals, and more will all need new and easier ways of sending materials digitally.
Luckily enough, we are prepared for this new reality. For years companies like Aerogami have been prepared for the digital transition and have worked hard to deliver a better solution than the ones we’re replacing. That was our core mission with Touchless Contact for professionals: to create a tool that can handle every part of the networking process from initial contact to the follow up afterwards.
So will we mourn the loss of the business card after 2020? Absolutely. A business card is a right of passage for any professional and serves as an extension of our brand to anyone we meet. There’s a tradition in the trading of business cards, but unfortunately tradition often is lost when it competes directly with practicality.