Trade Show Tip #6:  The importance of business cards

So you’ve taken the plunge and made the investment to exhibit, and you are even feeling pretty on top of things a few months out thanks to following along with Merchandising Matters and other trade show resources.  Your map is made, you’ve successfully begun building relationships via social media, your forget-me-not’s are ordered and you’ve still got almost eight weeks to go.

Yeah for you!

What’s the status of your business cards?  You do have plenty, right?  And they include your e-mail and telephone number, right?  Oh, you don’t include e-mail because you don’t want to be included on everyone’s mailing list?  Huh?

Here’s the thing:  having a card without an e-mail address that you check regularly is akin to saying, please don’t contact me after the show.  How many people do you think you might miss connecting with because you so heavily guard your e-mail address?  You can always opt out if you feel you have been added to a list unnecessarily. 

As Grandma used to say, don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.

You would be surprised how many booths I visited where business cards did not include anything more than a name, title, and company.  Some booths ran out of cards.  I was told by others, “We’re still figuring out our logo (or website or something else) so we don’t have cards yet.”  Folks, that’s not going to fly if you want to grow your business. Don’t miss out on connections because you are holding out for design perfection or a silly worry about too much email.

Run to Kinko’s or your local copy store, and order generic cards if you must.  You can always tell contacts that these cards are ‘temporary.’ But absolutely positively do not arrive at OR without business cards that include e-mail and telephone information.

Trade shows are an enormous opportunity to make people aware of you and your business.  Business cards with contact information are a non-negotiable cost. Got that?

Enough said.

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