We have created tours for some of the biggest names in their respective industries – brands such as Liverpool FC, Tommy Hilfiger, Sunseeker Yachts, Corinthia Hotels and The Roman Baths – yet there’s one stand out market which enjoys more visits than all others by some margin: Independent Schools.

For King William’s College in the Isle of Man, the statistics speak for themselves: nearly 16,000 visits in just a few months! It doesn’t take long to understand the reasons why this might be the case..
 
Firstly, the school has been simple but effective with its presentation of the tours. The school’s website features a link to the virtual tour on its home page – the first page you land on as a prospective pupil or parent gives you instant access to a guided tour of the school and its fantastic facilities. Instantly you get a true feel for the environment – something that photographs or videos cannot really do, despite still being valuable marketing tools themselves. Making the tour so accessible is crucial to anyone investing in this technology as a marketing tool – don’t hide it away on sub pages, get it out there! 
 
Secondly, I believe it is very much down to the that that Independent Schools having a global catchment area. If you are trying to appeal to pupils from Europe and Asia, etc.. you will no doubt be competing with a whole host of other Independent Schools in the UK, all of whom may be equally difficult logistically for those pupils and their families to visit in person. A virtual tour really is the next best thing to actually being there and gives schools an edge on the competition as well as being hugely engaging and immersive. With the interactive content you can embed (read more about this later on) it is essentially the ultimate digital prospectus.

Our virtual tours are based upon a 100% accurate 3D model that gets created through a 3D scanning process that uses Infrared. The main body of King William’s College was scanned in around 4 hours, with one of my colleagues carrying out separate scans of areas that were separate to the main building, such as the Chapel, DT Block, Boarding Areas and the Sports Hall.

4K hi-res 360 degree images are captured during the scanning process and overlaid on top of the model to arrive at a stunning 3D virtual tour. Having this level of hi-quality imagery leads to a bonus by-product in that you can download any image from any angle or area of a tour – perfect for marketing brochures or a website, and all without spending anything on a separate photographer!

Showcasing the school’s boarding areas and common rooms was a big emphasis for the marketing team at KWC. Vitally important as the teaching and learning environments are, the “behind the scenes” areas need featuring to allow overseas pupils to begin to get excited about how they will be spending their time away from the classroom.

Interactive content can be embedded within our tours. This can be as simple as some text to explain a bit more about an area or object, but it can also take the online visitor to your website, a hosted image, a YouTube video or even a tour of another part of the building! This is really valuable for a big site that comprises multiple buildings that are not joined.

Giving pupils access to a virtual tour ahead of them beginning at a school serves as a virtual induction. They can navigate the corridors and stairways etc.. to familiarise themselves, putting them at ease and removing a little of that first day fear that we’ve all experienced in moving to a new school.

Judy Bell, Marketing Officer at KWC is thrilled by the results and even more so at their phenomenal engagement statistics! 
 
“Virtual Tours are an ideal way of showing our international pupil enquiries what the school is like – a lot of our international pupils from Hong Kong, China and Russia are unable to visit so this is a perfect way of showing them around. The process was very easy – I looked at the plans of the school and marked out the tour route I would normally use for visiting pupils. The results are excellent quality, very user friendly and also for us, as a school where pupils (ages 11-16) are looking at them, they are fun! The main tour is used a lot, which is fantastic news – 14,000 online visits in just a few months, in fact! Virtual tours are an excellent tool for marketing Independent Schools.”
 
Take the tour for yourself!
 

http://bit.ly/KWCMainTour  

 
For all enquiries and a free consultation regarding all media services for your school, please get in touch with us:
 
0151 638 6283
 
 
Written by Simon Sloan, Operations Manager, hi-impact