Ask the expert: virtual campus tours

By Vicky Hayhurst, commercial director of Revolution Viewing

UB: What rich media solutions does Revolution Viewing offer that support clearing? What are some of the latest developments in the sector?

We provide a range of rich media solutions such as student recruitment videos, cinema and TV adverts, video-based banner ads, animations and explainer videos, 360-degree video and photography, virtual tours, virtual open days and virtual reality solutions.

Although many of our solutions are used year round, our virtual tour and virtual open day solutions work particularly well at clearing because they enable prospective students to see in detail what a university campus and facilities have to offer. They can gain a sense of space and place as well as the portfolio of courses that are taught. This is incredibly helpful for prospective students who are looking to make a quick decision at clearing, a decision they can make by spending just a few minutes exploring a virtual tour or virtual open day.

Some of the latest developments in the sector at clearing include more universities looking at how they can bring an experience to the viewer by investing in virtual reality versions of digital content. And there have also been increases in the number of universities using chatbot technology and voice activation.

UB: How should universities choose their rich media solutions?

Our research suggests that virtual tours are now expected by a majority of prospective students. Usually map or location based, they typically comprise a series of 360s and videos that enable a viewer to take a look around the spaces, buildings and facilities. These spaces can be organised according to subject area as well as social spaces and campus and city locations. Research and clients tell us virtual tours are the most effective way to showcase what a university has to offer

Virtual open days have the same elements as virtual tours but are usually more experiential and attempt to provide the ‘feeling’ and atmosphere of the university as well as what it looks like. They can also contain a live events platform so that universities can run live or pre-recorded events at key times of the year. They are a great tool for increasing open day and applicant day attendance as well as providing an experience of a campus for international students or those who can’t visit. All our solutions are visible on a university website 24/7 so prospective students can access them whenever suits them best.

UB: How have the solutions been tested and researched?

We launched our primary research programme with prospective students in 2015 to regularly test and research our solutions and other solutions inside and outside of the sector. We now have more insight than any other agency into what prospective students need and want from digital rich media solutions. We also have a range of client case studies and performance metrics.

Vicky Hayhurst is commercial director of Revolution Viewing

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