Business cards released, tattoos as new era puts pandemic in rear view


Of all the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic – a scourge that is still not over – one of the most notable is the disappearance of the business card.

At the first hospitality industry conference I attended following the worst ravages of the pandemic, the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin in September 2021, the business cards were gone.

I doubt anyone even wrapped them up – the idea that person A would hand something they touched to person B, who would happily touch something person A touched and keep it for later reading, appeared to everyone as a degree of madness.

Similarly, there were no conference and corporate brochures or little bowls of mints and the like.

I brought some business cards to IHIF May 2022, but the reception wasn’t overwhelming, so I stopped handing them out.

Technology has provided a valid solution, with, for example, an iPhone capable of taking a snapshot of a QR code and instantly storing all relevant information in the intended recipient’s database.

It’s obviously better for the environment, although I’m sure the technology has a carbon footprint.

Goodbye, business cards, might be the call.

It shows that sometimes the things you took for granted as always necessary aren’t actually necessary.

The same is demonstrated for trains and offices to London.

There is a wonderful, stimulating article in the New York Times about the demise and impending death of America’s suburban office complex—those self-contained, semi-country, foreground behemoths beloved of satellite towns in need of tax revenue.

I sent it to my colleagues at Hotel News Now, and one of them, Stephanie Ricca, replied that she thought a photo of the article, titled “A paper jam from 2018 “, deserved a Pulitzer Prize.

I know what she means. This photo perfectly captures a moment, as hardened lava did after eruptive magma from Vesuvius finally solidified over Pompeii.

The price would, I think, already be on the way if the document in the photo was dated March 23, 2020, but it is dated January 16, 2018, suggesting that such office arrangements were on the way to becoming well before the pandemic. .

Perhaps a picture of a business card will be used in years to come to suggest some obscure practice now resigned to history like sending telex messages and listening to music on a Walkman?

News broke this week that German hotel company Ruby Hotels is offering an incentive to new employees, who after six months of employment will receive 500 euros for a tattoo, piercing or a new hairstyle. According to a press release, “Ruby wants to encourage her employees to create their individual success story, to show their own personality and also to showcase it at work.”


Despite the huge staffing challenge in the hospitality industry, I wonder if this is the right message.

Doesn’t this stereotype hospitality workers, although of course every newcomer could choose the haircut option, although a $511 haircut probably involves dye, color , back combing, heat treatment and careful shaving.

I have tattoos and still love them. Far be it from me to be conservative, but what’s wrong with giving an incentive in cash or, in a publicly traded company, in shares.

The ad, I guess, and my comments point out any genius in this inducement.

Ruby says she’s looking for people who “appreciate character, soul and individuality”, so expect to see increasingly colorful hoteliers in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and in the UK, the markets on which the campaign is focused.

The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of Hotel News Now or the CoStar Group and its affiliates. Bloggers posted on this site are free to express opinions which may be controversial, but our aim is to provoke thought and constructive discussion within our community of readers. Feel free to contact an editor with any questions or concerns.

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