What to do with all the business cards?

The problem is pretty well known to everybody who often goes to business events: how to deal with all the business cards you receive during a normal event.

I admit that I’m a tech addict and so its no wonder I’ve tried several ways to transfer the business cards the easiest way possible to my iPhone or at least to my computer. To say it like this: no method yet proved to be really consistent and helpful.

For sure not to bad is the iPhone App “ScanBizCards”. You take a photo of the business card with your smartphone, the app scans the pic and converts it into text. The algorithm is ok and fast and quite often it detects pretty well the right information … but … well, only quite often. To often you have to correct the info that has been read. After all that takes almost as long as simply typing the business card yourself. And for sure the app fails completely if it has to handle stylish business cards – no wonder and I won’t blame the app for it.

Evernote, my favorite notetaker, recently rolled out Evernote Hello, an app dedicated to managing contacts at events or other occasions. The process is straightforward: get a business card, scan it right after you’ve got it. Evernote Hello puts the info on a timeline, together with geolocation what makes it easy to track back, where and when you’ve got the card. So far so nice. Evernote Hello also scans the business card and detects the info. But it then tries to link the info with Linkedin profiles. That idea is good, but unfortunately not every information that you need is saved on the Linkedin profile, so that most of the time the address and phone fields remain empty … not good!

Then there’s an app called assistant or stagiaire, or even secretary … Thats not bad too. They will encode your staples of business cards silently (or less silently, with some moaning). But yet you won’t have a clue after all who that Mister Smith was among the 25 other contacts you’ve made 2 days before. Was it the bald guy or the one with the fancy glasses? Arrrgh … here we are stuck again.

So is there an ideal way to encode these info in a fast an memorable way? What do you use?

How to meet people. A (business) dating guide …

Business events are a little bit like speed dating. You want to find the right one(s) in the most timely manner possible. You attend an event and find yourself in the middle of 100 other people. So now what?

5 rules:

  1. People you already know are less interesting. Don’t neglect them, but don’t waste your time with the people you can contact at a later time.
  2. Never speak to long with someone unless you feel that you’ll make the deal of the century on that occasion (what is pretty unlikely). Get the info you need and agree to keep in touch, that’s it. Next please.
  3. Feel the moment when a conversation is over. Your conversation partner will give you clear signals, when he doesn’t want to speak anymore with you. If you overstep that border, you will be an annoying orange and you can be sure that your business card will end up in the dustbin.
  4. Share enough information but never to much. It’s just like flirting: you would want to make yourself interesting for the next date. So don’t drop all your clothes right away, instead keep something for the next time.
  5. Know when it’s time to leave. People who stay till the end are often considered to be people who don’t have anything else to do. You are busy! Never forget that. And busy people get the information they need and then leave for more important things.