Last year, I had a blast meeting students and doctors during Optometry’s Meeting 2013 in San Diego! I enjoyed pleasant chats in the free luncheons, at the Presidential Celebration, during CEs, and even asking for directions! At the very end of our conversation, they would hand me a card! “Well, Susan, It was nice talking to you! Here’s my card if you have any questions.” I took the card, smiled, and walked off into my own world. Little did I know that I was breaking the common business card courtesy!
Here are some business cards tips that I have learned to do!
Know when to stop! The people at OM (Optometry’s Meeting) are busy! They are flying between CE courses and on their way to the next event! Sometimes, they are too polite to shush off an eager student trying to network in the sea of optometrists. Ask what they are up to before sitting down with them! Fellow students will also be very busy CE monitoring and presenting posters! Perhaps meet up with them at a social event like OSB or at the hotel after party (yes they exist)!
Accept the card with a firm handshake! Don’t walk off awkwardly like I did. Take this opportunity to give them your business card and leave a lasting impression!
Write notes! I wish I did this earlier because I can’t remember how I even got some of my cards and what their company/practice is all about. Now, I would write down “where, when, and how” I met this person, maybe even a memo telling me to write a thank you letter afterwards.
Organize the cards! I honestly did not know what to do with all the cards I have collected last year. When I got home, I started to sort them and put them in a bin. I am so glad that I did that because it helped me when I wanted to reach out to the doctors and sales representatives for my school’s fundraisers. You never know when you will use the cards again, but one card could belong to your future employer!
So, hopefully my tips can help you be prepared for Optometry’s Meeting this year! I got my free business cards from AOA! They look pretty spiffy, don’t you think? It took less than a month, so order them soon to make it in time for June 25, 2014!!!!