When you hear the word “networking”, several images may come to mind. You might be thinking of a stuffy hotel ballroom that smells of coffee and donuts. You might imagine people sitting around a table throwing business cards at each other. Business cards go into pockets and purses and end up thrown in a drawer or, worse yet, thrown away altogether.
Networking is an essential part of corporate culture, and it evolves over time. Modern networking seeks to shed old conventionalism and usher in an era of harnessing technology and social networking skills.
Gone are the days of the wet noodle handshake
With the COVID-19 pandemic making “contactless” the new buzzword, industries that relied on handshakes to accompany presentations or close deals have wondered how to adapt networking to this “new normal” 6 feet away and non-contact interaction.
Mobilo is meeting this challenge with its digital business card, which relies on RFID technology as well as contactless payment options. It uses the concept of “tap and share” to exchange business information. Limburg considers it to be the “Covid-proof visiting card”.
“Mobilo allows you to exchange contact details without any physical contact,” Limburg said LA Weekly.
However, meeting the demand for current social distancing protocols is just one way for Mobilo to disrupt traditional business networks.
Evolution of the company
Evolution is a constant in business. When technological advancements take place at breakneck speed, businesses must keep pace or run the risk of being left behind.
“As businesses and technologies evolve, their physical representation must also evolve,” says Limburg.
For decades, the physical representation of a business that has shown up time and time again at networking events has been a calling card. People traded them and kept any cards they collected in a Rolodex or file. Perhaps the most technologically savvy people would scan the business cards they received and keep them in a file on their computers. Or, as with 88% of business cards received, they were relegated to the “circular folder” (better known as the trash can).
No matter how people organized (or disposed of) the business cards they collected, the only constant was the physical medium of the card itself. The United States prints twenty-seven million physical business cards a day. Limburg knew that in addition to solving the problem of social distance networking, he also needed to address the environmental implications of the “old way” of doing things.
Meet networkers where they are
To cope with the present moment in the “new normal” of networking, innovators like Limburg need to meet companies where they are now. It requires an understanding of what is important to people when they are networked. What is the end goal and how can we do better to ultimately achieve that end goal?
“Die-hard professionals and networkers don’t want to hand out business cards,” says Limburg Millennium Magazine, “They are mostly interested in receiving a business card. This is how you stay in control of the conversation. This is when you can reach out and take the lead.
Taking advantage of the “Zoom Boom” is also a way to pivot networking, and Mobilo is there with it.
“We also see a lot of people using our smart business cards during a Zoom video call,” Limburg explains.
Networking doesn’t just happen at your local Holiday Inn anymore. These are Zoom calls and back and forth on Slack. These are Facebook groups and Twitter feeds. Networkers present themselves differently, and the usual exchanging of business cards is part of networking that must evolve over time.
The future of networking
No one could have predicted that a global pandemic would change the way we do business, including the way we network. The future is hard to predict, but the business world can rest assured that innovators like Pieter Limburg will be there to lean into every curve with groundbreaking ideas that will help us keep all kinds of industries thriving.