Projects: Making Visitor Guestbooks Better By Going Digital

November 20, 2016 by Dave Haynes


Here’s an interesting digital spin on the age-old routine of museums, exhibits and places like B&Bs asking visitors and guests to sign a guestbook.

Instead of scribbling something nice in a book, a touchscreen kiosks captures the signature digital, as well as comments and, importantly, opted-in email addresses.

New York-based creative design studio C&G Partners has its guestbook running in several facilities, most recently the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

The company says:

To digitize the traditional elements of a guestbook, and add more functions unique to the digital realm, the project leverages web-based technology with an easy-to-manage user platforms. A large touch surface encourages visitors to sign with their fingers, indicate where they’re from, explore an interactive map of all past signers, and share personal experiences—making them part of a global community.

A visitor can instantly donate on the spot (a feature going live soon), or become a member, all through tight integration with the organization’s existing business software and secure credit card processing systems. Through the digital guestbook project, everyone can leave something of themselves behind.

“The digital guestbook is a traditional and digital hybrid that pushes a familiar function into the future. The guestbook creates a sense of kinship between visitors and allows institutions to better understand who they serve,” says Jonathan Alger, a managing partner at the company.

The signature capture thing makes me a teeny bit jumpy, but overall, this would seem to make a lot of sense in terms of building up an email marketing distribution list, developing analytics on where visitors are from, and getting trending on interests and comments. You could do a lot of that, I suppose, through analog means like a paper guestbook, but it would be laborious as hell.

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