BYOB – Bring Your Own Business Card

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As we enter the festive time of the year, you’ll be going to more business parties. BYOB – Bring Your Own Business Card is normally what you would do when attending a networking event. But did you know that there’s a business card etiquette when establishing business contacts?

First, always make sure you have enough business cards on you for the occasion. It’s always embarrassing to be caught without any.

Presenting your business card to someone is more than just handing it out to them. There are certain requirements that your business card must meet if you are planning on effectively promoting your business.

Your Business Card Represents You

Always give out business cards with up to date information. Avoid scratching out details and re-writing them with a pen. It’s also important that the business card you give out is clean, not torn or wrinkled.

Business Card Don’ts

One of the most important things to remember when giving out business cards is to allow the other person to ask for your card. Abruptly presenting your card to someone is not a great way to make an impression.  If you’re not asked for your business card, chances are there won’t be a follow-up meeting with that person.

Don’t put a business card that you’ve received in your wallet, pocket or bag, as it can portray disrespect and even lack of organization. It is best to put a business card that someone has given you in a card case or planner.

Business Card Dos

Keep a handful of your business cards with you at all times so that you can present them to business associates or clients whenever required.

Hand out business cards even on informal occasions. No one said that only business conventions and meetings are places to hand out business cards. If someone is having a casual conversation with you and is interested in your business, it’s alright to hand out your card.

Ensure that business card exchanges are smooth. It’s fine to ask someone for their business card the first time you meet them.

Give everyone you meet two or three, so that they can give them out if the opportunity arises.

Try to learn the basics of foreign customs regarding presenting yourself and the exchange of business cards before traveling abroad. It’s very easy to make a bad first impression if you’re not prepared. It only takes a few minutes, so read up!

Once you have someone else’s business card, it’s important that you follow up with that person, as it would seem like you have led the person on by asking for their card.

Business Card Etiquette Around the World

Business cards in Japan are an important part of, not just business interactions, but personal encounters as well. Just about everyone has their own card, whether personal or business, from the time they are a student onwards. Hold out your business card with both hands, and accept the other’s card with both hands.

In China, It is preferable to present your own card before asking for another’s business card. Hold out your card with both hands with the text facing the other party. Study the card for a moment before putting it away.

In India, put any university degrees or honors information on your business card. Use your right hand to present and accept business cards.

In Western Europe, never pass out your business cards like dealing a deck of cards. Never put your cards in a stack on the table at a reception.

These tips will help you successfully network with your business card while enjoying the festivities coming up in the year.  If you meet a newcomer to Canada, apply the rule of their home country. You’ll be remembered for that!


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