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I asked someone for their business card recently and was met with a look of skepticism. “Do people still do that?” they said. And it got me thinking… do they??

At Hardman Communications, we have business cards, but we’re debating the value of replacing them when they run out – if they ever do. A couple of years ago we trialled a tappable card with a QR code that would add our contacts straight to people’s phones. It sounded great in theory but was a bit awkward in practice. So, we kept the QR code but went back to printed cards. Now we struggle to remember the last time we handed one out.

Do we really need them?

We’ve all experienced the moment of finding a business card and not remembering who the person is or when we got the card. Or on the flip side, who hasn’t gone digging through a drawer (or dare I say rolodex) and not been able to find the card you were looking for?

A few other cons of business cards are forgetting to carry them, getting worn or losing shape, and having to replace them each time someone gets promoted or changes jobs. Let’s be honest. Has anyone actually used all of the 250 printed business cards that you get in a standard order? I certainly never have.

So, what is replacing business cards? LinkedIn, naturally.

LinkedIn reigns supreme when it comes to connecting with professionals. I personally add people to LinkedIn while I’m speaking to them. This helps confirm that I have the right person/page and ensures that I don’t forget later.

You can now follow what that person gets up to and they stay front of mind. Plus, their connections may provide professional opportunities that you may have never considered. It certainly beats a card sitting in the bottom of a drawer.

For the sake of sustainability, reducing landfill, saving paper and printing costs, it makes sense. So, is the business card dead? In certain industries, it may still be relevant. But generally, and personally, I think the business card is a goner. Do you?

Shereen Cherrett