The month of November was a big month for conferences. I was fortunate to attend Blogworld (#BWELA), #Brandsconf and then rounding out the month worked on my own conference to organize November 30th’s #140confMTL Meetup here in Montreal with Jeff Pulver.
I’ll be updating you all on our fabulous evening at #140ConfMTL in my next post, but this afternoon’s post is about Networking, Meetups and how to stand out in a pile of cards.
You meet so many incredible people when you go to meetings or conferences, it’s a fantastic experience. Do this day after day at a few events, and things can start to get complicated if you don’t have a system to make sure you keep the connections you made, and don’t lose track of some of the good people you have met.
When you get home, after meeting 50 or even 100 new people, you might remember all their faces and their stories, but when you throw all those cards down on the desk, or pull them all out of your bag, sometimes it is a little hard to remember the card to match the face and the person you just met.
Has this ever happened to you? What’s neat is, when people make their cards memorable, you can immediately pick them out of your pack, put the face to the name (or card) and then remember a new friend easily! But what if it was loud when you met, and there were a hundred people around you, and you just didn’t catch their name?
Get business cards with something that the people you meet will be able to relate to you. Make an impression. Put your picture on them in a way that stands out.
A few months ago, before I started to understand the importance of identity in really bringing yourself into your Social Media presence, if you told me to put my picture on a card I would have said , “No way! That’s crazy – I am not a real estate agent”.
However, as I started to realize how my cards are directly tied in with me as an individual, I took a chance and printed some cards with my face on them. I still wasn’t completely comfortable, I didn’t really want to have my picture on them, so I decided to print some of my other scenic photos instead, with a very modest number of cards with my picture as well – like a safe mix – then I could offer people an option. After using all the cards that did not have me on them, I found myself at an event – not a Social Media (SoMe) event, but a normal “boring” business event. I was out of my “safe” standard cards, so I was forced to pull out, what I refer to as: my SoMe cards. I pulled out my photo cards selection (expecting them to go for the images of scenes and not me) and explained I was out of my usual ones. They were very impressed, they thought it was such a fun idea. And, to my surprise they wanted the ones with the picture of me. I quickly ran out, and when I gave people the cards that did not have me on them, they were disappointed! I had to promise to send them the “Mila” cards later. It was as if all of a sudden, because my card was so different, everyone had to have one. I honestly have never experienced anything quite like that, who fights over business cards?
I learned something very interesting that day, people will fight over a cool business card. Months later I ran into the same crowd, and they were still talking about my card. I have run into people afterwards, who knew this group of colleagues and they ask me for my card, simply because they have heard about it. People are talking about me because of my card. Knowing this, when I go to an event, and I hand out my card, maybe in SoMe circles everyone isn’t going to talk about my card, but because my picture is on it, they will be able to remember me. If my card stands out, they will have an extra connection for when they drop me in that pile, to say , yeah I wanted this contact info. Not, “Who is this?”
So my number 1 Tip is make your card memorable in a way that the person you are meeting can connect with, and connect you to. My other cards were really nice, in my opinion they had cool photos on them, things I thought were so interesting. BUT to the person collecting cards for contacts, they dont need cool photos, they need something that reminds them of you.
Some people use Moo Cards, I had some myself, and there are many other online dealers, but I am totally sold on @MeetMeme cards because the service experience I have had with them is beyond outstanding. Their product is top quality, your card order comes with a personalized website – click on each version of my card, you’ll see. (Note: I was not asked to write this, I am not being rewarded in any way for writing this, I am writing this because the MeetMeMe team seriously impressed me and they have cards that are super fun) My MeetMeme story will be shared on another #custserv post later.
So, in the spirit of this valuable lesson that I learned, I decided to give away some free cards at our #140ConfMTL meetup – I am posting Youtube videos for each of the draws, and I sincerely hope my new friends will enjoy their new cards!
Share your smiles and your faces when you meet people, throw in your super powers (and now- very cool- your nemesis – or if you prefer your favorite quote!) and have fun, meeting people, but also remembering them, so you can keep connecting with people as faces and personalities and not just a stack of boring cards on your desk. Here’s the link to my Meetmeme card – but if I met you in person, you can always scan the QR Code and get to the same page.
Cards can make an impression. It is kind of cool when they spark conversation, and can even be “collector” items. I never thought if it this way before, but it’s true & that’s why I love my cards and I love people who give me cards that keep that connection, share a part of them – even after they are out of sight, they aren’t out of mind. I remember them, their story, and I have fun showing their cards to others too.
What do you think? Do you remember everyone when you get home from an event, or do you struggle to match the card to the person?
Do you have a special card design? What has your feedback been?