Conferences are great places to learn more about your area of business and improve your skillset. However, they are also one of the best places to network. You will be in the same place as the top people in your industry for an entire day, so it is important to make the most of this opportunity to gain some key contacts.
However, you will be talking to a large number of people at each conference, as will everyone you meet. Under these circumstances, it is easy to see how you can struggle to remember people and their contact details. This is where business cards come in.
Ideally, after each conference you will leave with a nearly empty stack of your own business cards and a full one of other people's. Just giving out your business cards, however, is not enough. You need to make sure they will stand out in your contacts' piles of other people's details. Here's how to design a business card that will make you memorable:
Remind people of your pitch
Most people have an 'elevator pitch' - a few short sentences describing what their business can offer - prepared for conferences. However, while people can be impressed by this at first, it is easy to either forget the pitch entirely or lose sight of who said it when you are going through a huge stack of business cards.
This is why it is often a good idea to have a short pitch on each card. Try to sum up your company in five to ten words and use the resulting sentence on your cards. Make sure you drop the sentence into conversation whenever you're talking about your business so people can easily associate it with you.
Your cards need to stand out in some way in order to be recognisable. However, when you are dealing with businesspeople this can be difficult. If your cards are too wacky or brightly coloured, your contacts might assume you are not formal or professional enough for them.
Luckily, there are other ways of standing out. For example, making your cards thicker than normal, or creating them out of a material with a unique feel, will make them stand out without seeming like you're trying too hard. You could even use a card that is twice as long as normal and fold it in half, for a booklet-style effect.
Have two types of card
The quest to be eye-catching can get expensive. If you are paying for top-notch design and unusual dimensions for your cards, the price will start rising. This is even more the case if you are using a special material. If you want the effects of this but not the cost, try going to your conference armed with two different types of business card.
Have one special, eye-catching card for people you think will be high-value contacts and a cheaply designed one for everyone else. This gives you the best of both worlds. You are giving out a card to everyone, which is important, but you are also not wasting money on giving expensive cards to people with little value to your business.