The uptake of virtual tours in the education sector over the last year has been marked – with many independent schools adopting the technology to enable them to continue showcasing their school grounds to new prospective students and their families throughout lockdown.
While UK lockdown restrictions have eased, there is still a place for the use of this valuable tool. Let us explain why…
Virtual tours are for life, not just for lockdown
There are many things that lockdown has taught us here in the UK – for some, it’s the fact that little things add up to quite big things – such as having more time on our hands means that we get to spend better quality time with our families. Another discovery is that it is possible to have fulfilling and immersive experiences digitally, and, while we wouldn’t want to be forced into this being the only way, all of the time, digital experiences certainly have a place.
So, what does this mean for virtual school tours?
The merits of 3D virtual tours for schools are plenty. From an infection control perspective, minimising the number of feet through the door is imperative. Also, the ability to attract prospective students from anywhere in the world and allow them to explore an identical virtual twin of your school buildings, site and grounds has multiple benefits all round. From time and money saving for them and you, to familiarisation and even reducing your school’s carbon footprint.
The ability to keep your school doors open 24/7 in a virtual sense, means that there is no limit to the number of families that can explore your school. Plus, they can make as many repeat visits as they like, with no inconvenience or disruption to you, your team or your existing students. With this in mind, you can be assured that as they progress through the admissions journey, they are sure of their decision.
Virtual tours for schools also provide a great way for candidates for your staffing vacancies to explore your school site – allowing them to familiarise themselves with your facilities, ethos and brand before even setting foot through your door.
If your school has another revenue stream – perhaps the hiring out of spaces and facilities for clubs, activities and events, a virtual tour makes the ideal platform to market this offering. A virtual tour allows interested parties the opportunity to explore your venue in detail, in their own time.
But surely it can’t be the same as viewing a school in person?
Obviously, there are differences, but with the ability to embed a variety of media including video, stills photography and text within virtual tours by providers such as Matterport, it is possible to create a totally immersive and engaging walk-through tours that tell the viewer everything about your school that they could learn in-person – and more.
And what about a guided tour?
With a virtual tour with OpenHouse Live, education establishments are able to provide in-person show-arounds at any time of day, anywhere in the world. This enables students and their families to familiarise themselves with the school site and teaching and pastoral staff from the comfort of their own home. When you consider that many independent schools attract an international audience, this can make a move overseas a lot less daunting for a new student, when the new term starts.
How can a virtual tour help with my school’s marketing efforts?
Not only is a virtual tour sure to increase your website dwell time and repeat visits, but you can utilise your virtual tour and elements of it, within your school’s social media marketing plan, to create rich and engaging content to promote your school.
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