Time to upgrade: New biz cards carry video, Web links
Printed business cards may become so five-minutes ago, if a new Hawaii company takes off.
Gina Finkelstein and Michele Pokung have established VBC Hawaii, a Video Business Card franchisee of Atlanta-based Infinite Marketing Inc.
Finkelstein and Pokung found the opportunity while looking for a way to promote their own businesses. "We thought, 'What a great idea,' and we bought into it," she said.
Business-card-sized CDs have been around for years, as noted on Infinite Marketing's Web site, but prices were prohibitive.
With tweaked technology and a franchise business model, they're cheaper now.
Infinite Marketing compares the cost to buying a cup of coffee for a potential client -- and not a high-end decaf-skinny-java-latte-frappu-spresso.
The cards cost $1.99 each, or less with larger orders, Finkelstein said. That is after a one-time fee of $1,800 to $2,500 for VBC Hawaii to shoot video, design and create the card -- about the same as producing a brochure.
The cards can hold six minutes of video, said Finkelstein, a photographer and videographer. Typically they include a 60- to 90-second video about the benefits of doing business with the bearer, a menu of buttons and links to a Web site, e-mail address, v-card and locator map or driving directions. The cards can also hold a color brochure for viewing or printing as an Adobe PDF file.
Waikele Community Association General Manager Malcom Ching met Finkelstein through his wife's networking group. "I saw this product and a light bulb went on and I thought, 'this would be fantastic for our community,'" he said.
The association got its shipment this week and will distribute, via each card, volumes of information about the services it provides, community rules and resident resources.
"We were debating whether to make welcome packets, but we live in a computer age," Ching said. Untold numbers of trees have photosynthesized a sigh of relief.
Two other types of video business cards appeared during column research.
One is just video you slap onto a Web site, while rCard is a thick, credit-card-sized device that displays video or information independent of a computer. Prices weren't posted but it likely costs more than two-dollars-a-holler.
The VBC Hawaii card does not install anything on a user's computer and will auto-start on a machine running Windows XP or Vista -- as long as it has a spindle- or tray-type CD drive.
Though created on Macs, the cards are for PCs. "We can do a Mac card," she said, but it costs a little more.
On that note your columnist offers a caveat.
A now-retired Star-Bulletin colleague once loaded a mini-disc-biz-card into the slot of his iMac -- and it got stuck inside. Techs had to remove the faceplate and extract it with a pair of hemostats.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org