Conference Corner: 3 Things to Know About Blogging Business Cards
Not that I'm counting or anything, but BlogHer '12 in New York is ::justsixshortweeksawayzomg:: Now is about that time we all go from planning the weekend out in our heads to realizing that there are actual items we need to start getting checked off of actual to-do lists. And, if you asked me, I'd tell you that the first thing you should get to working on is your business card.
You ARE cool enough/big enough/important enough for a business card. If you're coming all this way to attend a professional blogging conference, the very least you should do for yourself is invest in some cards. With 4,500 attendees, it's going to be extremely difficult to just flat-out remember anyone's name and blog url and twitter handle and facebook page and face after the conference, and that's why making cards is so important.
You come to network. So network. It's really easy.
Image: Lollipop Goldstein via Flickr
All you need to decide is A) what you want them to look like; B) how many you want to order; and 3) where you want to get them.
A) What you want them to look like:
Schmutzie wrote a much better post on business cards than I could ever hope to; go read it. In my opinion, her most stand-out points were:
- Put your face on your cards
- Don't make them whack-a-doodle shapes/sizes
- Make them matte, so people can take notes on them
I like to make a few differently styled cards, because different occasions call for different cards, yo. (I like Moo Cards because of this, see below for why.) I have a straight-up, all-business, all-the-time card; a mullet card (business up front, party-fun down the back); and a card for when people mistake me for my best blog friend -- which actually happens enough that I need a card for it. I also have a card for my freelance work, and another for my BlogHer work. No, I have no advice on how to keep them all straight. I close my eyes and guess a lot.
B) How many you want to order:
This is kind of a subjective question, the answer to which will depend on how outgoing you are, how much networking you really intend to do, and your budget. However, I would strongly advise that you make your first few runs of cards small batches, no more than between 200-400. Why? Because the more networking you do, the more opportunity you get, and the more your information will change. The very first cards I ever printed were in a batch of 400, and I still have 250 left. Everything changed for me after my first BlogHer, and I won't ever use those old cards again.
C) Where you want to get them from:
Six weeks out feels kind of early to be suggesting cards, but the reason I do is because most of us will design them ourselves, and most of us aren't professional designers, and there is nothing worse than realizing you chose the wrong font color and your gorgeous cards are totally illegible, when you have no time to reprint. Give yourself plenty of berth on your cards, to make sure they're the best representation of you post-conference.
Prices range from $15 to $70 with some advance time, depending on what you're looking for. VistaPrint starts at $14.99 for 250 cards and has a lot of pre-made designs. Moo is more expensive (200 cards will run you around $70), but has a very high quality product. It allows you to use multiple images/designs in one print run. UPrint will let you order die-cut cards ($46 for 250), which can be fun -- but, as Schmutzie cautioned, those can also get lost in the pile.
If you lose your cards, or forget them, or realize you just hate them, you can print a quick run of basic cards at Kinko's or Staples, both right down the street from BlogHer '12 at the Hilton New York. They'll cost you a lot, and be lower quality, but they can be ready in a matter of hours.
Of course, you can always go totally unconventional with your cards. I still have the lighter Gwendomama handed me at BlogHer '08; it's got her name and URL on it. Becca from OurCrazyBoys made a huge splash at BlogHer '11 simply by stapling ibuprofen packets to her cards, and Morgan from the 818 had me at hello with the hangover meds she handed out with her cards. I've personally been known to bring a Sharpie and sign boo...books. I was going to say books. I've seen Post-It Notes, whistles, and Legos all used as cards, and I've even seen cards specifically made for individual conferences.
I am pretty sure, if I had to pick, I would say that MomoFali and BusyDad win for my very favorite business card designs ever. What are your favorites? Let me know, or link to an image, in the comments!