03 July 2009
Networking Tip of the Day—Business Card Poker
Next time you attend a networking event (meeting of your local library association or consortium, for instance), be sure to take a nice stack of your business cards. If your employer doesn’t provide them or if you’re unemployed—especially if you’re out of a job—make your own on your computer or at your local print shop.
When you sit down at the table, deal out one business card to each person or place setting at the table—just like in poker. The idea is for everyone to follow suit (or is this business card bridge?) so that each person will have the business card of everyone at the table. During the meal, write a note on the back of each card so that you will remember 1) at what event you collected the card and 2) something that the person wore, said, or did that was memorable.
You should, of course, continue to collect business cards the old-fashioned way, when you meet someone formally or informally. This is just an additional idea.
When you get back to the office or back home, enter the information on both sides of the card into a database. In no time you will build up a database of contacts that you can use when you have a tough reference question, need an ILL fast, are looking for a job, or just want to connect with a colleague. (I use AskSam because it’s super easy to set up and use and searches all fields of the entries lightning fast. I’ve had databases with nearly 2000 entries and the response is instantaneous. See http://www.asksam.com/brochure.asp for more information. )
So, play a “game” of business card poker at the next networking opportunity and be a winner!