Business Card Etiquette

Business Card Etiquette

Who’d have thought business cards could carry such strict etiquette? Especially in other cultures and continents, such as Asia, where business card transactions must be treated with the utmost respect. You probably think that you just hand them out to people you want to speak to at a later date, right?

However, if you have a big business meeting or networking event coming up there are actually a few key things you should keep in mind, when it comes to dishing out those business cards:

1. Don’t forget them

Obvious, right? But nothing screams ‘unprofessional’ more than someone who replies, when asked; “Oh no, sorry, I left my business cards at home today.”

2. Keep them to yourself

Yes, we know the idea of a business card is to hand them out to people, but you don’t want to be that person at the event, who sidles around dishing their card out to everyone.

Keep your cards exclusive and pass them out to people who you genuinely think might require your services in the future. People will only throw your card away if they don’t think they need it.

3. Don’t be too eager, except when in Asia

In Asia, you are expected to present your business card with two hands, as a sign of respect, as well as having it printed in English on one side. You should also hand it to the other person, upon initially meeting and take time to look at theirs before you get started.

However, here in the UK, immediately placing your business card in another person’s hand is considered a little rude, simply because they don’t know you or if they actually want to get in touch afterwards! Do your research before you conduct business in other countries and try to wait until you are asked before handing yours over when in Britain.

4. Keep them presentable

Invest in a smart holder for your business card to avoid them becoming dog-eared and crumpled, a scruffy business card could give the wrong impression about you and your business. Where you keep them on your person says a lot about you as well, shoving them in your pocket or loose in your bag are frowned upon.

5. Check your cards are correct before heading to an event

There’s nothing worse than a business card featuring a scratched out telephone number and a hand written one in its place. Ensure everything is up to date on your cards a week or so before an event, to avoid this from happening. You can design a new card  in just five minutes on our site, so there’s no excuse!

Business cards are a universally recognised form of communication when it comes to formal meetings and are an excellent way of presenting you and your business to a potential customer or supplier – just be sure to keep the above etiquette in mind at your next networking event!