Welcome: take a walk around. When you’re introducing a visitor to your campus, you want that person to really get a feel for it. Attending a university isn’t just about classes, content, and research — it’s also about campus life. What amenities are there on campus for your students? What kind of connection will they have with fellow students and teachers? And how is the campus social life? As you develop your campus tours, remember that many of your prospective students won’t be able to visit your campus in person. A virtual reality tour can help them feel what your campus is like so that they can choose to attend your school, even if they’ve never actually seen it in person.
What is a Virtual Reality Tour?
A virtual reality tour sounds futuristic, but it doesn’t involve high tech equipment that’s only found in a lab. Using easily-accessible gear like Google Cardboard, your site visitors can enjoy an immersive campus experience. Instead of flipping through photos in a slideshow, they can virtually walk through campus and see what’s around them. Add narration or sound to further enhance your visitors’ experience.
Use Virtual Reality to Give a Campus Experience
Prospective researchers will look up the research interests of the faculty they’re considering, while young undergraduates will see what dorms look like and think about the social groups on campus. You have information to suit all of these groups on your website already, but virtual reality isn’t just about information. It’s about creating an experience for your visitors. Walk those undergraduates through a dorm room led by an existing student, or bring your prospective graduate students into the facilities to have a virtual tour narrated by an existing researcher.
Virtual Reality Tours Are About Storytelling
While virtual reality relies on images and videos of your campus, those images need to come together in a story for your students. Understand your prospective students questions and needs, and try to answer them in your tour. For example, if most students on your real life tours want to see the campus grounds and recreation facilities, make sure that you go there on your virtual tour as well. You have stops on your real life tours that tell the story of each facility, visit areas on campus that are important to students, and look to the future of your campus. Create a similar narrative arc to your virtual reality tour so that students feel like they aren’t just seeing pictures, they’re being guided through the story of your campus.
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Why Virtual Reality Tours Help You Stand Out
All universities have a website, and all of those websites have information and photos about the campus and an invitation to attend regularly-scheduled campus tours. However, not all campuses offer tours to those who can’t come to visit. Students look at many different universities before they decide where to go. By providing customer service to those who can’t visit your school in person, you’ll set your school apart from the competition.
As you develop your virtual reality tours, talk to eCity Interactive. We’re here to help you share your campus with prospective students, no matter where they’re located. Learn more about how we can help you today.