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Take business cards to black tie event?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Tomorrow night, I will attend my first P.S.F. (post-Style Forum) black tie "optional" event here in the US. Today, my boss asked me to fill a seat at at table my employer has securecd at a regional chamber of commerce event. Now, "I got invited to a shindig and need a tux" cries for help are a dime a dozen on this forum. I will spare the forum my whining on my predicament. Suffice it to say, I will not wear black tie.

I have learned that the "rules" say I shouldn't wear a watch, even *sob* my new gold Patek complimented by an elegant black crock strap.

I suspect the "rules" would say I shouldn't carry business cards, but given the fact that the table will be chock-a-block with current clients, and the entire venue will be full of potential future clients, should I take my business cards? If the answer is "yes", should I be relatively aggressive in offering my business card? I really have lived in Japan too long....Japanese professionals people can hardly talk to each other without first exchanging business cards.

Bic
post #2 of 30
My initial impulse is to say absolutely not. But it's a Chamber of Commerce event, not a social occasion. If it's going to be dominated by a discussion of business, then I don't think business cards are out of order.

If, however, it's a gala honoring some civic activist, or other event at which "business" isn't the real focus, I might feel differently. I'd be much more hesitant to bring out the business cards in that case.

In any event, I'd try to be as discreet as possible, but you know that already.
post #3 of 30
I would say yes, but as Doc said, be discreet. Certainly I wouldn't introduce yourself while offering a card but I'm sure you know that If it comes up in conversation and there's an appropriate place for it, by all means.
post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drizzt3117
I would say yes, but as Doc said, be discreet. Certainly I wouldn't introduce yourself while offering a card but I'm sure you know that If it comes up in conversation and there's an appropriate place for it, by all means.


If it helps, this is the region's German American Chamber of Commerce 11th Annual Gala 2006. Reception, silent auction, dinner, dancing....crikey 6 whole hours!

Thank you for your comments.....I will heed your advice about discretion. I will take them on the off chance someone sitting next to me says "Bic! You do XYZ?!? We are looking for just such a go getter!" Better to have them in my pocket and not use them than to not have them and wish I had.


Bic
post #5 of 30
If you're not wearing a tux I wouldn't worry about the watch rule. Or you can always use your cell to check the time.
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bic Pentameter
I have learned that the "rules" say I shouldn't wear a watch, even *sob* my new gold Patek complimented by an elegant black crock strap. Bic
A wristwatch with black tie is perfectly permissible. Avoid them with white tie, though.
post #7 of 30
Bic, the fact that you're in Japan changes the environment for business cards entirely. Be carrying them "just in case" but be reluctant to hand them out. Nobody will think you're pimping yourself if you end up keeping them in your pocket. If you do end up giving one to someone in this situation, it will probably be in a discreetly private moment anyway.

In my experience, anybody with some experience of Japan comes prepared to exchange business cards as a matter of course.

Btw, which Patek do you have?

(I have the 5120 in WG.)
post #8 of 30
I carry my business cards everywhere, even when I have on jeans and sweats. you never know so be a boyscout. you don't have to give them out, but if someone asks in conversation, you won't be writing your number on a napkin. besides, great way to mack with women. . . . .
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by stach
If you're not wearing a tux I wouldn't worry about the watch rule. Or you can always use your cell to check the time.

Aaah! Aaaaaah!
post #10 of 30
I regret to say that I would consider 'rules' about not wearing watches or carrying business cards to any function are arrant nonsense.

One needs to know the time or advise someone who might ask and if chance means that you meet someone who might want a business card then give them them one and receive one whatever country you are in.

Mention is made of cell phone here - that should be switched off or better still left at home unless you need it to summon a cab.
post #11 of 30
Despite the fact that it's being gussied up by being Black Tie Optional, it's still a Chamber of Commerce business event, so take business cards.
post #12 of 30
Bic, there are rules and then there are rules. The no watch with formal wear rule was one of the more narrowly conceived and "enforced". It makes sense, to the extent that it does make sense, within the context of a more or less leisured upper class. Since this event is emphatically about business, I think at a minimum the rule can safely be broken and in all likelihood should not apply at all. Besides, you are wearing a suit, not a DJ, so go ahead and wear your watch. And don't worry about the cards.
post #13 of 30
ALWAYS have business cards in hand. The question is whether or not to bring an extra case of cards.
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by josepidal
ALWAYS have business cards in hand. The question is whether or not to bring an extra case of cards.
Agreed. Always have them. Always.
post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all of your responses.

Manton: Your comment about a more or less lesisured upper class makes sense. As many others have pointed out, the clear focus of the event is business.

Dirk and Jose:
I usually have 5-10 business cards tucked into my wallet, just in case. Always having them is one thing. I suspect that there are times where a Japanese person might exchange them because it is the polite thing to do, but an American wouldn't. For example, I wouldn't hesitate to exchange business cards at a wedding in Japan. I'd be more reluctant to do so at a wedding in the US.

Nantucket:
In mid August, I moved back to the US. I will make very regular trips to Japan, but have established a lair in North America. I bought the 5014 in yellow gold. You may see a picture here:
http://www.timetunnel-jp.com/used_list_frame.html


Bic
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