Business card printer to go?
February 6, 2014 11:24 AM   Subscribe

My non-profit organization is having a large booth at L.A. Pride Festival this summer and one of our objectives is to get people's names and email addresses. We've talked about swag, but one of the things that I think would be popular is giving people 20 business cards (or mini-cards) with their name and address that they could use for their own purposes during the festival. They would get what they want (useful swag) and we would get what we want (email addresses).

We know that people will give email addresses and the privacy issues aren't a problem, we just want to give them something in return. We were thinking a full color rainbow print on one side with our logo and their name and email on the reverse.

Does anyone know of a portable-ish printer that would print high-quality business or mini cards?

If not, is there anything else you can think of that would meet both of these objectives besides "give us your email and we'll give you some sunscreen with our logo"?
posted by Sophie1 to Technology (10 answers total)
I would strongly advise that you not give out business cards with your logo on them and the name and contact information for someone that doesn't work for you on the other side. That's going to lead to all sorts of confusion. And gives people the opportunity to easily commit outright fraud.

That being said - I actually love your idea! You could buy perf sheets of business cards and run them through a normal ink jet printer. (Just don't put your logo on it! Or put your logo and information on one card and print the other person's information on all the others.) You want something like this Avery stock - that's far from the only example.

You could print one side with rainbows before going to the event, and print the other side on site. You'd need a power source for a printer and a laptop.
posted by stoneweaver at 11:39 AM on February 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

It's not quite business cards, but you could try a portable printer for nametags perhaps?
posted by Fortran at 11:41 AM on February 6, 2014

I'm a little confused. Someone is going to come to your table and you're going to give them a card with their name and your organization's logo? And they don't work for you or have an official relationship with you?

I agree with stoneweaver. This sounds potentially confusing at best.

Maybe something like nametags (Fortran's suggestion) or perhaps some choice quotes that pertain to gay pride, etc. would be better.
posted by dfriedman at 11:43 AM on February 6, 2014

Avery's Clean-Edge Business Cards are awesome, they come in both laser and inkjet versions, are double sided, and work in standard printers. They come in a variety of quantities and Amazon has good prices on them. Agree with the other posters about confusion though.
posted by HermitDog at 11:47 AM on February 6, 2014

Go the Avery route. Print them first with your organization's information on the back, with a very clear note that "[Organization] is a proud sponsor of The LA Pride Festival, but is not affiliated with the lovely individual whose contact information is on the front."

Then, flip the cards over, setup a template at the event where all you need to do is input the details and hit print. Their information is on one side, your information (and disclaimer) is on the other. They get the card, you keep their details, and everybody wins.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 11:57 AM on February 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Richard Meneely has a portable letterpress for this kind of thing. But he's on the east coast. I'd be surprised if there wasn't someone with something similar in LA, who would be willing to combine forces.
posted by egeanin at 3:59 PM on February 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Instead of putting your logo on all the cards, why not give them 19 cards with their contact info on it, and 1 card with just your info on it? You still collect their email addresses, they get something more useful, you also distribute swag with your logo on it.

Bonus points if you can find a template where they get to customize the card- maybe add clipart or something?
posted by beepbeepboopboop at 4:33 PM on February 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

Ummm. LA Pride. So. Okay. I have attended LGBT Pride festivals in big and small cites across the US. In my experience, people are not there to network. They want to have fun, get laid, drink during the daytime, get a tan. I'm not sure that the networking/business card thing would be something that would make people stop and sign up.

All that said!! :) What I do want to do is offer you what I think is a more effective idea that helps you reach your goals of email address collection:

Make it a contest. Sign up to win X prize, like an Apple product, a dinner at a hip new restaurant, a big tab at a bar, tickets to a concert that's popular with LA gays. And have super attractive folks working the booth!

Maybe some LA LGBT folks can chime in, but I would nix the business cards. Unless they were some kind of hookup-related or coming out or very very funny cards. Just sayin.
posted by manicure12 at 1:19 PM on February 8, 2014

(I totally read them as hookup cards fwiw)
posted by stoneweaver at 12:53 PM on February 9, 2014

OK - a follow up

1) they were totally hook-up cards
2) we found a better "gimmick/way to get info from people"

I thank you for all of your suggestions!
posted by Sophie1 at 9:06 AM on February 14, 2014

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