The Sailing Museum of Rhode Island was an exciting client for The Label Experts to work with on multiple levels! Not just for their awesome mission (more on that later) but they’re also one of our rare non-industrial clients with a very specific need for our niche product, SilicodeTM! Its unique adhesive is engineered to permanently adhere to non-stick silicone surfaces. As you can probably imagine, regular labels and non-stick surfaces don’t get along that well!
But let’s backtrack—it’s the beginning of 2022, and The Sailing Museum was preparing to open their doors for the very first time! But this isn’t just a museum with trophies and artifacts… To create an immersive experience for visitors, they decided to focus on interactive, hands-on exhibits.
Why? Heather Ruhsam, Executive Director for The Sailing Museum spoke to us about their mission. “There are all sorts of presumptions about who sailing is for or where it can be done—our founding vision was that of an America where people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can participate in sailing. We wanted to create a space that is both welcoming and inclusive for people to learn about the sport.” Heather reflects that the unique language of sailing can be intimidating to outsiders—something the museum is hoping to change with their interactive, educational exhibits. “We want to show that it doesn’t matter who you are, or what your ability is, your gender, your race, your background. None of that matters on the water. We’re showing that anyone can sail anywhere.”
Upon entering the museum, every visitor is given their ticket—a slap bracelet with a unique QR code—and given their first task, choosing a digital boat that will serve as their avatar through the exhibits. Visitors then ‘sail’ through the museum on their boat, going through multiple interactive exhibits that teach you how to be a sailor.
And since every ticket is linked to an individual QR code, Heather comments, “When the visitor leaves, they can scan their QR code with their phone and it takes them to their personal microsite where their boat and sailing ‘locker’ of the things they created or collected in the museum are located. The QR code makes the entire museum experience immersive, but it also goes home with them.”
And all those individual QR codes needed… labels! But not just any old label—they needed labels that could stick to the silicone covered slap bracelets that serve as tickets for every museum visitor. Why a slap bracelet? Initially conceived as a keepsake for visitors to take home, another concern was the environmental impact of a throwaway ticket. They didn’t want a Tyvek wristband that could end up polluting the ocean right outside their front door! Having a ticket made up of recyclable components was much more in line with the Museum’s ethos. Silicone is a great choice for sustainability, but its non-stick surface makes labeling tricky. Luckily, The Label Experts had encountered these difficulties before!
“We were so excited to find you guys,” Heather says. “Your team sent over two different types of labels for silicone, and we tested both. We let them sit for 24 hours and then we manipulated the bands a whole bunch and found the one that worked best for us. And you were also able to run all our unique QR codes. Your team was so fast with the turnaround time and support,” Heather remarked. “It’s just been really easy—the customer service has been amazing. It’s the perfect solution for us.”
We were delighted to help the team at The Sailing Museum guide new sailors through their amazing interactive exhibits. If you need labels for an unusual surface or object, ask The Label Experts to put their label know-how to work for you. And if you’re ever in Newport, Rhode Island, be sure to visit The Sailing Museum!