Why yes, it’s perfectly possible to network your business while socially distancing!
We have held two events so far during the COVID-19 and we’ve taken the appropriate steps to keep our attendees, table captains and sponsors safe.
Those steps include sanitation of surfaces, attendees must register and testify that they have not been exposed (to their knowledge), we are further apart and we have been practicing “touchless business card or contact detail exchange”.
What does that mean and just how can you exchange details without touching a business card?
It turns out, that it’s quite easy to do, but you have to think either laterally, or literally – don’t touch the business cards (for a while), or simply don’t exchange business cards, but exchange the details from those cards.
We have 4 methods for exchanging details that we’re going to share with you …
Touchless Business Card Exchange #1: Cellphone Photo
The cellphone photo – yes, it’s so obvious that many of us don’t think about it, just snap a quick photo of someone’s business card without touching it.
Almost everyone has a cellphone on them, and just about every single cellphone has a camera. Have your business contact lay their card on the table, then snap a quick photo of their card. It doesn’t need you to have any special software at all, but it does mean you then have to enter the details into your contact database manually when you get back to your office. Cellphone photos are quick, easy and super touch-free!
Pros: Very fast; No special software of app is required.
Cons: You will have to type the details into your contact manager later.
Touchless Business Card Exchange #2: Cellphone Scan
Taking the cellphone photo to the next level with an app that scans a business card is simple and affordable.
There are a number of apps available that will scan a business card and convert the details into a contact, apps such as CamCard or WordCard Mobile Lite (iOS app, or Android App). These are just two of the apps which will scan a business card and create you a contact in your phone. Other systems such as HayStack us their own contact store, which isn’t quite as useful in our opinion.
Pros: Easy to use, Apps typically have free and paid tiers.
Cons: Free tiers have card limits, Some apps like Haystack use their own contact store and are less integrated.
Touchless Business Card Exchange #3: Scan to Cloud Drive
Method 3 also uses your cellphone typically, and this method scans and saves business cards right to your cloud drive.
There are three cloud based drive systems of note in our opinion – Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox (personal and business). The good news is that each of these companies has a method of scanning a business card right to their cloud storage drive. Both Google and Microsoft built the scanner right into their app for the drive itself, while DropBox requires an additional app download, even though it’s a free app, it is one more app you need to download and keep up to date.
- Scanning business cards to Microsoft OneDrive
- Scanning documents to Google Drive
- Scanning documents to DropBox
Pros: Scans documents and cards right to your cloud drive; storage is only limited to your cloud drive capacity.
Cons: business cards may end up as a photo-type document and require manual entry later.
Touchless Business Card Exchange #4: RSC Quarantine
This method is so simple, again you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it before…
At TableTop Networking, we can provide you with a ‘Red Solo Cup’ or ‘RSC’ – grab one at checking and take it with you. This RSC is yours to keep, and how you use it is as follows…
- After the round of elevator pitches, ask a contact you want a business card of to drop it into your RSC
- Repeat until the event ends – collecting cards in your RSC as the event progresses
- Take your RSC back to your office or remote office at home – put the RSC in the garage, or in a safe place for THREE DAYS
- After the cards have ‘hung out’ in the RSC quarantine for 3 day, you an safely touch them and follow-up as normal!
Pros: It’s basically just a 3-day no-touch delay to regular business card exchange; we provide you the RSC at the event!
Cons: Event followup is delayed by 3-days.
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