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Follow Up To The Iowa VC Conference

I'd like to add an addendum to my previous post on the Iowa VC and Entrepreneur Conference put on here in Des Moines by the Iowa Economic Development Department last week.

Here are some observations / personal preferences:

  1. If you're at the conference pitching yourself or your brilliant idea, invest the $30 for 1000 real business cards.  I know the technology, look, feel of self-printed and perforated ones have gotten better, but I get the impression that this is only a "thing that you're doing on the side".  Besides, if I spill my conference coffee on the card, the ink will run and ruin my shirt.
  2. Even more importantly than number 1, at least have a business card.  Some really interesting people and I will never cross paths again unless they contact me (because I gave them a card.)
  3. Buy a domain name and use the free email account they give you to have a more professional image.  Visit GoDaddy for a really cheap domain registration, great management tools, free email account, and lightning fast account modifications.  You can even forward your new fancy domain email to your regular account if you'd like.  I've recently dumped all of my Yahoo and DNS Central domain registrations in favor of Go Daddy after Mike Sansone at Converstations turned me onto it.  I remember the revealing super bowl commercial a few years back but really didn't explore it after that.  It's just a bit more validating to see something other than @yahoo, @hotmail, or @othercrypticandimpersonaldomain.net on your card if you've invested the $8.99.
  4. Don't leave home without your cards.  Carry some in the car, your wife's car, and anywhere else that ensures you'll have them when you need them most.  I have a leather business card holder that goes most everywhere with me + back ups in the car.  I ran out the other day since Mr. Sansone introduced me to more people than I had cards in reserve :)  A quick visit to the car in the Panera parking lot made sure that I was back in action.

So there we have it.  A total investment of $38.99 + tax to reinvent yourself, your business, and your image.  Oops, I forgot to add the $1.39 for the cup of coffee at the Panera University Virtual Office and Social Networking Club. 

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