What type of virtual campus tour is right for your school?

So you’re a boarding or day school and you’re thinking about adding a virtual tour to your marketing toolbox.   Good idea!

A virtual tour is great because . . .

  • The web is first point of access for most businesses and may be for your potential students and their families, or future employees, trustees or partners
  • You need to get your school on a potential student’s “A list” so they are inspired to come and see the campus in person
  • Chances are your school has spent a lot of money, time and effort on the campus and its facilities – you can convey this online with a campus tour
  • You can reach international students who may not be able to visit before making a decision
  • You can use the tour in recruiting events for students or staff, as well as in fundraising efforts

What are the different forms a tour can take and what are the pros and cons of each?

Type Pros Cons
Video tour
  • Easy to post/share on social media like YouTube
  • User experience is completely controlled
  • Expensive to create and makes changes to
  • Linear, not interactive
  • Likely that you will lose user before the end
  • Usually can’t be created in-house
Web page with pictures and text/photo gallery
  • Inexpensive to create; can likely be done in-house
  • User can jump around
  • Static, boring
  • It is hard to get the bird’s eye view of campus
Campus map with links to still images/captions
  • User gets a better idea of overall campus
  • User can jump around
  • Feels a little more interactive than a photo gallery
  • Usually not a self contained piece so user has to keep closing windows
  • Not immersive
360-degree virtual tour
  • User gets to control the experience with multiple ways to navigate
  • You can incorporate elements from other media (voice overs, maps, slideshows, etc)
  • Self contained marketing piece
  • It is immersive with the ability to look all around the space – even capturing an active moment in time
  • Much less expensive than a professionally created video tour
  • Usually can’t be created in-house
  • More expensive that a static tour

 

Questions to ask yourself when planning for your virtual campus tour:

  • What is your budget?
  • How will you use it?
    • Only online or will you use it at school fairs, presentations, admissions people on the road?
  • Do you want it embedded in your website or as a separate module?
  • Do you want to have students/people in the shot or no people in the shot?
  • Do you want people to be able to see it on smart phones and tablets?
  • Do you want it to be linear and controlled like a video or self directed and explorable where people can pick and choose where they want to go?
  • How much of your campus do you want to show?
  • Who is your audience for the tour?
    • Students interesting in your Athletics or other specific programs? Internationals? Donors?
  • Do you need your tour localized into multiple languages?
  • Do you want your tour to be focused in on key areas of recruitment – so would need multiple tours or a tour with different segments?
  • Does the city that you are in play any kind of a role?
    • Do you want to show scenes from the city or highlight things to do off campus?

 If you decide to go with a Circlescapes 360 virtual tour – we also ask:

  • How many locations on campus you want to feature?
  • What additional options do you want?
    • informational hotspots
      • text (different from text descriptions that come standard with Deluxe/Premium)
      • image
      • combo text and image
      • external link
    • directional hotspots
    • audio hotspot
      • sound effect
      • music
      • voice blurb
    • video hotspot (best when out on YouTube, Vimeo)
    • voice over narration
    • slideshows
    • sharing – social media hotspot or feature
  • What navigational constructs do you want?
    • campus map
    • thumbnail images
    • list/legend
    • forward and backward buttons

We can answer any questions you have about virtual tours!  Give us a call or  send us an email today!

Also, don’t forget about our special “3 Free Spins” offer!

coupon

 

 

 

 

3 Free Spins – for a limited time!

Book a virtual tour with 10+ spins before the end of March 2015, and we’ll give you 3 extra spins FREE!  That’s $750 bucks saved.

And you’ll get an awesome 360° virtual tour that people around the world can look at on their computers, tablets and smartphones.  WHAT A DEAL!

Click the coupon below to email us, and let’s get started!

coupon

 

 

5 reasons why every boarding school needs a 360° virtual campus tour!

  1. Potential students might live faaaaar away!  When they can’t come take a tour in-person, give them the next best thing — the ability to explore on their own from their PC or mobile device.
  2. Students will be LIVING on campus!  They probably want to get a detailed look the living, learning and playing spaces first, right?
  3. Your website is the first point of contact!  You’ve spent so much time, energy and money making your campus look beautiful.  Small, flat photos just don’t do it justice.  Bring it to life online with with stunning panoramic images, video, music, slideshows, text, links and interactive maps!  It’s the best way to showcase your school.
  4. You will be embracing cool, modern technology!  Kids love cool things.  Virtual tours are cool.
  5. Face it, students are going to compare your website to other schools!  You compete in sports and academics, right?  A virtual tour will ensure that your campus will stand out in their minds.

Circlescapes, has created dynamic virtual tours for over 300 clients in 37 states and overseas.  Schools like Bolles, Miss Porters, Brewster Academy, Hockaday, The Hun School, Lake Forest Academy, McCallie, New Hampton, Ridley College, Westminster, Tilton, and many more trust us to make their campuses look amazing online.

Are you boarding school admissions or marketing director?

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Spin Some Cheer

keep-calm-and-spin-some-cheer-3CAMPAIGN:

Spin Some Cheer

THE DEAL:

Partner with Circlescapes and we will donate 10% of all profits to a charity of your choice.

WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU:

  1. Think of someone (or multiple someones) that you think could benefit from a virtual tour. It could be a hospital, school, hotel/resort, convention/conference center, spa, golf course, state park, tourist attraction – any business near or far.
  2. Introduce us via email at information@circlescapes.com (Lisa and Jared)
  3. If they schedule a virtual tour we will donate 10% of the profits to the charity of your choice.

LET’S SPIN SOME CHEER!

 

 

Virtual Tour Launch (x 52): New York State Parks and DEC Campgrounds

We are super psyched to share the latest virtual tours of 56 more New York State Parks and DEC Campgrounds. Last year, we shot and produced tours for 41 parks, and this past summer, we worked with them again to create tours for 52 more beautiful parks.

Our strategy was to divide and conquer, with Jared taking the Adirondacks, the Saratoga Region and some of the Hudson Valley and NYC parks. I (Lisa) worked my way from Hudson Valley westward to the Central Region  then to the Finger Lakes and the Western NY Region.

All of the parks are unique and beautiful, but some of our favorites were Watkins Glen, Bear Mountain, Ausable PointWellesley Island and Little Pond. Also, take a tour of Riverbank, which is right in the heart of Manhattan and was inspired by urban rooftop designs in Japan. All the tours feature 360 degree spins, photo slideshows, text descriptions and park info.

Let us know which are your favorites!

http://www.nystateparkstours.com/

nystateparks

 

 

 

Virtual Tour Launch: St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School

It was awesome to work with the team over at St. Mark’s Day School in our own hometown, Jacksonville, Florida. Theirs is a Premium Tour with 11 spins in and around their beautiful campus. The students were a lot of fun to work with too and we think the tour captures the academic, spiritual AND playful energy of campus life. Please take a look and tell us what you think!

Screen shot of the St. Mark's Episcopal Day School Virtual Tour

Click to view the St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School Virtual Tour

 

 

 

Virtual Tour Update: Brandon Hall

We added some new spins to the Brandon Hall Virtual Campus Tour. Now even more of their beautiful school is online for the world to see. Thanks again, Wendy for the great day on your campus!

http://brandonhall.org/tour/

 

 

Highlight your town in your campus virtual tour

We are excited by the trend where schools showcase their town center in the campus virtual tour. Face it, students who come to board in your schools will not only be immersed in campus life, but also in your community. Whether your school is situated in an idyllic rural setting, a residential community or an urban city, chances are you have unique common spaces where students will love to congregate and hotspots they will frequent.

campus virtual tour

Lisa shooting a 360 in downtown Wolfeboro.

I recently visited Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, NH and took a shot of their amazing waterfront with boat rentals, ice cream shops, public docks and bustling boutiques–all a stone’s skip away from campus. Look for that addition to their tour to launch soon.

Other schools that have added shots of their downtown areas are The Hun School in Princeton, NJ and McCallie School in Chattanooga.

Notice how we added the shots to the campus maps.

Here are links to check out those tours:

http://www.hunschool.org/360tour/index.html

http://www.mccallie.org/2013tour/index.html

http://www.brewsteracademy.org/tour/

 

 

Virtual Tour Launch – Kaiser Permanente – Southwood Location

We were honored to work with Kaiser Permanente of Georgia again to help showcase their latest newly renovated Comprehensive Medical Center (CMC): Southwood. The bright spacious facility is located just south of Atlanta. Take a look inside.

kaiser permanente southwood location

http://xnet.kp.org/ga/facilitytours/southwood/

 

 

Virtual Tour Launch: Ridley College

Ridley College, is in St. Catharines, Ontario – near Niagara Falls.  We met them at the TABS conference in Boston, and photographed the school during a polar vortex cold snap that saw temperatures in the single digits (~Brrr~).  We will be going back to the school in the spring to shoot more locations.  Maybe the weather will be warmer?

The school is beautiful.  Some compare the dining hall to the great hall in Harry Potter.  We were honored to bring the school to life online.  Enjoy!  http://www.ridleycollege.com/map

ridley