In the age of LinkedIn and mobile apps like Bump (now defunct), it may seem like business cards are becoming obsolete. Up to this point in time I’ve never felt the need to create a business card for myself.

However, I learned on my recent trip to Southeast Asia that the giving and receiving of business cards is very much alive and well. In this region of the world it is an important way of showing honor and respect.

In Southeast Asia, when you give and receive a business card, you should hold it with both hands, with the card facing the recipient. When you receive a card, you should read it carefully and slowly. If you are sitting down to a meeting, you should place the cards you have received in front of you for the duration of the meeting. And you should always keep cards in a card case, not in your pocket.

So, in order to prepare for future trips, I’ve finally printed my own set of business cards and bought a card case.

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