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A guest book is a book designed for guests of events or special functions to sign. Typically, it has a hard cover and several pages inside. Each of these pages contains several lines on which guests can sign their names. In some cases, the book may also include a space for contact information or other pertinent information.
Before entering the viewing area at a funeral, guests will generally find a guest book located on a pedestal. It is typically opened to the area where it should be signed, and a pen is located nearby. A book may also be used at other functions, as well, including weddings, baby showers, anniversary celebrations, and birthday parties. Some resorts and other rental properties also include a book to be signed by those who rent the property.
The purpose of the guest book is to provide the host with a souvenir of the gathering. It also helps the host keep track of guests in order to send thank you notes for attending or simply as a reminder of who attended. This is particularly useful during a funeral, when the family is experiencing a great deal of grief and may not notice or remember all of the guests who come to share their condolences.
A guest book may also be found on a web site on the Internet. Here, it is designed as an area where visitors to the site can leave their name and possibly their contact information. It is helpful to the webmaster, because it helps him or her to keep track of the types of individuals visiting the site. It also provides visitors with a simple way to provide feedback, which can be helpful to the webmaster in making improvements to the web site.
Feedback left on a web site guest book is also helpful to a business owner. When other visitors to the site access the page, they can read the feedback left by previous clients and customers. If the feedback is positive, it can serve as an inexpensive and simple way to market the goods or services the business provides.
Guest books also seem to be commonly used before or after a big event.
Sports events, for example, might use an online guest book for people to leave messages encouraging their team.
Or after the death of a public figure or a major disaster, guest books are often made available for people to write messages of sympathy or encouragement. It's a nice gesture, particularly for people who can't afford to offer financial assistance during these events.
I think, more often than not, the act of writing the message is even more important than if anyone ever reads it.
I have seen some really good creative guest book ideas. Since guest books often get put away and never taken out again, you can use ideas that can be incorporated into your home instead.
One idea was to get smooth pebbles or river rocks and have each guest use a paint pen to add their name and/or a brief message. Then the rocks or pebbles can be put in a pretty vase with some dried flowers.
Another idea is to make a photo album. You can mark off areas for photos and take photos of the guests. Then people can sign the area near where their photo will be. These are much nicer than guestbooks!