Is Covid-19 Digging The Grave For Business Cards?
From CEOs to freelancers, business cards have played a vital part in self-promotion and networking. Not only is it an effective way to get yourself and your business out there, but it is also affordable — making it perfect for small businesses and freelancers. Yes, most people will slip your business card into their desk drawers and forget about it. But seeing the physical card from time to time might remind someone of your services and be prompted to contact you. Even though a subtle way of advertising yourself, it has proven to be useful for many people.
But with Covid-19 cancelling events, implementing social distancing, and forcing the majority of the world to stay home, are business cards dead? The simple answer is yes! With no one socializing, networking, or attending events, business cards have lost their relevance and become unusable.
Business Cards Are Dead — For Now
Before Covid-19, business cards already had a bit of a bad reputation. Seen as being outdated, inconvenient, and environmentally unfriendly, business cards have been replaced with smartphones. With one foot already in the grave, Covid-19 seems to have put the final nail in the coffin for business cards.
The global pandemic has changed how people are connect — both personally and professionally. With no one to meet both in- and out-of-office and everyone just a Zoom call away, business cards are just gathering dust. Covid-19 has definitely put business cards six feet under for the five following reasons:
1. The Smartphone Takeover
Long before the coronavirus introduced social distancing, one-way shopping, and mask-wearing, smartphones had already done what business cards can. In a more environmentally-friendly, digital way, smartphones have become a one-stop-device in networking situations. Whether it is a Gen z asking for your brand's Instagram handle or a millennial asking you to add them on Facebook or LinkedIn, the way we connect has changed.
During the current global pandemic, people and brands are not only connecting via email and Zoom, but also on social media like Instagram and Twitter, and chat apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Unfortunately, this has made business cards seem 'old school,' especially for anyone under 35.
2. No More Networking
Thanks to the coronavirus, networking in-person is the thing of the past, making business cards useless. Whether meeting for after-work drinks, a charity event, or an industry-specific meetup, the exchange of business cards thrived at any networking opportunity. But with events being postponed or cancelled and bars and restaurants having to shut down, the chance to network and put your business card to use has quickly disappeared.
3. Everyone Now Works From Home
In 2020 the dream of working from home became a reality for most people around the world. With a potentially deadly virus leaking outside, allowing employees to work from home was the safest option for most companies. With lockdowns and stay-at-home orders becoming mandatory in some countries, many people had to adjust their internet speeds, set up home office spaces, and download Zoom to create the perfect work environment. There was a significant adjustment period, but once everyone got the hang of it, we all took advantage of not having to sit in traffic, living in sweatpants, and taking the occasional midday nap.
But not everyone and everything thrived during this work-from-home period, including office spaces, restaurants, gyms, and business cards. With everything happening online, the use of business cards quickly became redundant. You have no one to give your business card to and no one to receive it.
4. Virtual Meetups Have Taken Over
During the covid crisis, the online meeting platform Zoom has a surge in downloads. Between 22 February to 22 March 2020 alone, the app's downloads increased by 1 270%! From team meetings and work sessions to job interviews and client meetings, everything work-related was done online via Zoom or other online video apps like Skype, WhatsApp, or Teams. This meant that there was no need to exchange business cards for business professionals, but rather to get someone on Zoom for a covid-safe meetup.
Virtual meetups extended into many people's personal lives with baby showers, weddings, and birthdays all taking place via Zoom. Again this meant no meeting' friends of friends' who could be potential business leads or clients.
5. We Share More Virtually Than Physically
The internet has made sharing almost anything as easy as a few clicks. From breaking news and current events to memes and funny videos, everything seems to be shared virtually instead of physically. For a business, this can also be seen with newsletters for announcements, email for everyday communications, and video for training. Sharing virtually during this global pandemic has seemed like the best bet for most people.
Covid-19 can live anywhere, so most people are afraid to accept anything from anyone without sanitizing it first. No matter how big or small, getting something from a stranger — even in a work environment — can put you and your family at risk of contracting the virus. In turn, this has seen people be very cautious even when accepting someone's business card.
Is This The End For Business Card?
Even though it may seem like Covid-19 has pushed business cards into extinction, these tiny advertising billboards will make a comeback. With the new generations finding other ways to connect, older generations still find business cards to be tried and tested method to get their personal information out there. With vaccines slowly beginning to be tested, we'll soon be back to normal and exchanging business cards.