University virtual tours witnessed a surge of 258% in participation during the pandemic. However, the phenomenon is not a fad but is here to stay. Colleges and universities around the world are embracing virtual tours for campus visits and open days to attract students worldwide by providing an interactive experience.
Are you trying to increase student enrollment at your university? Let’s see how university virtual tours can help!
What is a Virtual Tour?
A virtual tour is any digital simulation that lets you wander through or explore a destination without being there. To date, educational institutions have been using 360 virtual tours, a virtual experience that places the viewer in a photographed 360 panoramic scene. Viewers navigate university virtual tours simply by clicking or tapping their screen; they can view all sides of the scene just as they would in real life, simulating the experience of being in the actual space.
In the near future, we can expect even more immersive university virtual tour experiences by integrating 360 virtual tours and more advanced technologies, such as 3D and virtual reality (VR).
Why University Virtual Tours Are Essential
Offering university virtual tours can help you gain a competitive edge in a crowded education market. They demonstrate a commitment to embracing technology and innovation, which can be attractive to tech-savvy students. Moreover, you can gather valuable data and insights from university virtual tour engagement metrics. This data can inform marketing and admissions strategies, helping universities tailor their outreach efforts.
University virtual tours can save time and money for both students and schools. For applicants, virtual tours eliminate the need for travel, which can be expensive and time-consuming, especially for students who are considering colleges from all over the country or the world. For universities, university virtual tours can reduce the cost of hosting in-person tours, such as the cost of transportation, staffing, and marketing materials.
Top Examples of University Virtual Tours
University virtual tour is not just a buzzword anymore. Many institutions worldwide use technology to offer online campus tours to attract students, tell brand stories, and drive enrolment. Let’s look at some prime examples to understand college virtual tours better.
1. University Virtual Tour of The University of Sussex
The virtual tour of The University of Sussex offers a unique experience by delivering insights from groups of existing students in a conversational format. They bring an authentic voice and unique insights that prospective students will appreciate in helping them assess what it would be like to attend the university.
2. University Virtual Tour of Cambridge College
If you favor minimalism, the virtual tour of Cambridge College can be a great source of inspiration. Minimalistic pop-ups provide essential information along with a 360 virtual tour around the campus. At the same time, the menu on the left side allows students to explore the entrance, atrium, standard and skyfold classrooms, seminar rooms, and more.
3. University Virtual Tour of Manchester Metropolitan University
The online campus tour of Manchester Metropolitan University is unique in how it guides the visitor. The university virtual tour presents a logical journey equipped with comprehensive information. The left side panel lists all places and topics that students can explore. Each stop has both a 360-degree view and a detailed introduction.
How University Virtual Tours Can Increase Student Enrollment
1. Boosting Interaction and Engagement
University virtual tours engage users with interactive and immersive experiences, such as 360-degree views, videos, and interactive maps. These features make your university more appealing and memorable, increasing students’ likelihood of applying.
2. Offering an Impressive First Touchpoint
A virtual tour can serve as a great first touchpoint between students and your university. Most of the time, students research universities and colleges online by visiting websites, reading blog posts, or watching videos. Clearly, university virtual tours provide a more comprehensive and immersive experience than texts or videos. Virtual tours can inform students about all aspects of the university, including its academic programs, student life, facilities, and resources.
3. Influencing Decision-making of Students
It’s not just about seeing the campus; it’s about using these virtual tours to find the right college fit. University virtual tours can provide prospective students with a better understanding of its offerings through integrated information and support via embedded media such as links, videos, images, etc.) or live call support. Thereby, students are more likely to apply because they can make informed decisions that align with their interests and goals.
4. Enhancing the Admissions Process
The admission officers can deploy virtual tours to improve the admission process for both the university and students. Use cases of university virtual tours throughout the admission process are ample, ranging from campus showcases, virtual information sessions, and student story and experience sharing.
5. Expanding Reach and Accessibility
University virtual tours help you to break geographical barriers and reach prospective students from anywhere in the world. Time constraints or time zone conflicts are no longer problematic since virtual tours are available 24/7. It also enhances accessibility and inclusivity by catering to the needs of students with disabilities. By leveraging the power of university virtual tours, you can open doors for a diverse range of students, ensuring that everyone has the chance to discover and engage with your institution.
How to Create a Smashing University Virtual Tour
In short, a university virtual tour brings an immersive, interactive experience that highlights the best things about your institution and reveals the real picture of student life.
The virtual tour should be easy to take, tell an engaging story about your brand, and should feature actionable options.
Are you looking to create a university virtual tour? Contact akaVerse, and you will have comprehensive solutions tailored to your specific needs and requirements.
What can you expect in akaVerse’s virtual tour? Here are some features that you may be interested in:
- 3D Design created by our talented in-house artists.
- Embedding multimedia (images, videos, links, voice-over, etc.) to take your college tours to the next level.
- Animated virtual tour guide to greet and talk to user
- Live video/voice call with customers to introduce the space within university virtual tour time.
We don’t believe in a “one size fits all” approach – so the sky’s the limit. Want to see what your university virtual tour would look like? Request a demo today!