Virtual reality is only the stuff of science fiction, right? Wrong. 360-degree VR is here today, and proves to be one of the most engaging and effective selling tools on the web. More than just a photograph, a 360VR image is an opportunity to experience an environment almost as if you’re there.But 360VR isn’t simply a fun online distraction. According to recent studies, hotels and resorts that offer online virtual tours experience significant increases in bookings. If what you’re promoting involves place, space or experience, 360VR can be one of your most powerful selling tools.

Virtual Venue creates tours of the highest quality — full screen and in glorious, high-resolution color. So take a few moments to explore some of the 360VR experiences here, including the comparison between still images and a 360VR tour. Then contact us to learn what 360VR can do for you.

360VR tours have been proven to significantly increase the bottom line for many businesses. For example, hotels that use virtual tours see an average 16% increase in bookings, with a four-week return on investment. It really can be the most cost effective marketing investment a business makes.

You see, every day more and more consumers come to rely on the web. They may be enticed by print, TV or radio ads, but they are increasingly turning to the Internet for the information they need to make actual spending decisions. Savvy businesses leverage this trend to their advantage.

The web’s most powerful feature is interactivity, and the 360VR image is, by its very nature, a highly interactive medium. In fact, when we add special features, it can become even more interactive. That means 360VR can be an extremely powerful selling tool for any application that involves place, space, context or experience. Check the Industry Focus section for a variety of applications that are particularly well suited to 360VR.

Still photos live in print. Video lives on TV. Both can be used – effectively – on the internet but the imagery that lives there? That would be 360VR (360 Virtual Reality).

Still images and video are flat and passive. 
The viewer remains an outside observer. But the real strength of the internet is interactivity. Still and video can’t leverage that.

360VR is immersive and interactive. 
It brings viewers into the image, into the experience, letting them interact in ways still and video can only dream of. And it’s effective. For example, hotels that add 360VR to their web sites experience an increase in online bookings ranging from 60% to 100% or more. (We have the studies.)

Still images say, “Look at this (and only this).” 
No doubt, a photograph can be very powerful in print or on the web. It can make a bold statement, set a mood or illustrate a point. But the crop is the essence of the still image, dictating what the viewer can see and eliminating everything else. 

Video says, “Look at this (and this and this and this and…).” 
Video is particularly good at telling a story, demonstrating an activity or rapidly changing between scenes and views. But, like the still image, video dictates what the viewer will see, cropping out anything that distracts from the message. 

360VR images say, “Experience this.” 
While stills and videos control the viewer experience, 360VR gives control to the viewer. It’s active, not passive, so it engages viewers on a totally unique level. What’s more, instead of cropping or limiting the view, 360VR allows the viewer to look at everything in all directions. It virtually places the viewer into a location. So, it carries an extra degree of credibility. The viewer can see what a place is really like. Therefore, any time you’re selling an experience, especially involving a place or space, 360VR should be an important part of your marketing toolbox.

360VR has a significant effect on Search Engine Ranking. 
Video has almost none if it is hosted on YourTube or Vimeo. The SEO benefit goes to those services, not your website. If video is self hosted or on some third party paid services it can provide a similar SEO advantage as 360VR, but using dramatically more bandwidth. For instance, the entire Taliesin tour in full HD uses under 30MB of bandwidth. The exact same content provided as HD video could use over 2GB, roughly 70 times the bandwidth.

360VR tours increase online bookings by 67%… or more.

An extensive study for Omni Hotels found that when online visitors were offered 360VR tours they were 67% more likely to book a room online. And the richer the media (adding music, voice over, animation, video) the higher the conversion rates, more than doubling “look to book” ratios. Bottom line, research indicates that 360VR tours results in some 16% more bookings overall. (TIG Global)

A similar study study just completed by Ice Portal and Hotel-Seekers.com found overall average bookings increased by 18%.

Quite simply, without a Virtual Venue tour you aren’t making the profits you could.

What makes our tours so effective? They engage your website visitors in the experience of your property. And a high quality, high resolution Virtual Venue is the most engaging 360VR tour available today. Instead of just seeing what’s there, they can step into the image and see themselves there. That is a crucial step in any sale process.

Visitors spend 2-4X more time compared to a text and photo site. The longer they spend the more credible you become and the more likely they are to book with you.

Your internet presence is critical to your bottom line. Maximize it.

In 2012 nearly 57% of hotel bookings in North America were generated via the Internet. At least another third of hotel bookings are directly influenced by online research, but booked offline. (eMarketer, HeBS)

The web is particularly important to resorts and travel attractions. 85% of leisure travelers consider the internet their main source of travel planning and the average traveler visits some 22 travel related sites during 9.5 research sessions prior to booking. (Google ThinkInsights, 2011)

To compete your site needs to stand out and hold their attention. Our virtual tours do that.

Virtual Venue is flexible and usable in multiple ways.

Our 360 Virtual Tours can be included in social media postings on Facebook. They can be displayed on most third party booking sites (Expedia etc.) significantly increasing bookings there.

Want to learn more? To get our in-depth report with more study details and examples of how Virtual Venue 360VR can give your bottom line a lift  just ask.

Let meeting planners experience your facility before they even visit.Anybody in group sales knows that your chance of booking a convention or other event grows exponentially if the decision maker just visits your facility. Most meeting planners would never book a convention without understanding the facility’s total experience with a visit. Pictures, floor plans, statistics and even promotional videos just don’t cut it.

But a high quality, online Virtual Tour goes a lot farther. It allows planners to experience your facility online, in the comfort of their own offices, without having to incur travel costs. They can understand the space in ways that just aren’t possible with still images, because they see all of it in context, from the inside. And because the planner can look in all directions on a 360VR tour, he or she can see that your facility has nothing to hide. That reinforces your credibility.

Research indicates that 360VR tours can increase sales.

Given the fact that 360VR is a leading edge technology, little market research has been done on it so far. But one key study in the hotel industry shows that 360VR tours result in 16% more bookings overall. (TIG Global) By all indications, the same growth opportunity exists for the group sales and meeting category.

Virtual Venue offers high-resolution, full screen quality that showcases a facility in the detail and splendor it deserves. And virtual tours are easy, quick and less expensive than site visits. So expect growing numbers of planners to rely on them in the months and years ahead.

360VR is the green, effective and very cool companion to in-person campus visits. As a school recruitment tool, the campus visit is simply invaluable. But with rising travel costs and uncertain economic conditions, there can be a limit to how many campuses a prospective student can physically visit. Therefore, it’s essential to get onto the student’s short list.

That’s why it’s important to offer an online Virtual Tour. Prospective students anywhere in the world can “pre-tour” your campus from their own personal computers. Once they get to know it and become engaged with it, more often than not they will want to visit it in person.

In some ways, it’s even better than an in-person visit.

Of course, we can’t forget “the cool factor.” 360VR is at the leading edge of online technology. Any school that offers a high-resolution, high-quality, highly navigable Virtual Venue will automatically gain bonus points with today’s Internet savvy students.

Plus, the entire experience can be enhanced by adding a recorded tour guide voiceover or an online chat with a live tour guide who leads the Virtual Venue tour and answers questions along the way. In some ways, a Virtual Venue Tour can be even better than an in-person tour. In-person you experience the campus in one season, time of day and only the facilities open at that moment. On a Virtual Venue Tour you could experience all season, times and places in one tour! And you can go place the in-person campus tours can’t.

What if… you could take prospective clients on a guided tour of your best projects anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice? 

Would that bring in more work?
With 360VR you can do that essentially for free.

Let clients explore your projects from their own computers.

Nobody designs an interior space only to be seen from one end. A room, by its very nature, is to be experienced from inside, where every turn of the head brings a different view. But until now, the primary tool for showing building design has been the two dimensional image. Multiple images can show different parts of an interior space, but can never really represent the space as it was meant to be experienced.

With 360VR, none of this is a problem. Online visitors can experience a space as intended, from the inside, almost as if they’re there. They can understand the space in ways that just aren’t possible with still images, because they see all of it in context.

This isn’t a foreign concept in the industry, of course. Many firms spend large amounts of time and money visualizing their designs as 3D renderings, fly throughs, even interactive tours for client presentation. Why? Because it is more understandable, real and effective than simple 2D images. Why wouldn’t it be the same when showing prospective clients completed projects?

Get unprecedented 360VR quality and functionality.

Until now, online virtual tours have lacked the quality, size and resolution necessary to properly showcase fine interior design and craftsmanship. Virtual Venue changes all that. 

Add an interactive floor plan with a “field of view” indicator so visitors know exactly where they are during a virtual tour. Add zoom or motion transitions to better convey the sense of moving from one room to another. Add an audio tour guide to explain while they look. Now your clients are about as close to being there as possible – without actually being there.

In addition, using 360VR for exteriors places a building in context of its environment like no still image can. 

A 360VR facility tour is a powerful sales and marketing tool.For many companies, a facility tour is an important part of closing a sale. 360VR offers a way to virtually take your facility to your customers, inexpensively and instantly. Whether it substitutes for an actual facility tour or it just helps put you onto a customer’s short list, a Virtual Venue will improve your company’s bottom line.

Virtual Venue can also be a useful tool for a company that manufactures a consumer product with a “how it’s made” mystique. A brewery, a motorcycle manufacturer or musical instrument producer, for instance. With a high quality, high resolution Virtual Venue on your company’s web site, you can extend your mystique to consumers the world over.

Get all of the benefit with none of the risk.

Take your customers and the public onto your factory floor, into your design center, through your processing line and behind the scenes – but with no insurance risk, no worry that a line is down, no risk of revealing proprietary secrets and without disturbing workflow. Virtual Venue makes it possible for anyone to experience your facility up close and personal, 24/7, no matter where in the world they are.

Often facility brochures or videos are used for this purpose, but they’re no substitute for actually being there. Virtual Venue, on the other hand, comes as close to being there as you can get. Integrate it with stills and video where appropriate. Add a voiceover tour guide and soundtrack. Now you have the best of all media, and far more impact than any one of them.

360VR lends credibility to your destination, because it’s like actually being there.Consider that 85% of leisure travelers consider the internet their main source of travel planning and the average traveler visits ~22 travel related sites during 9.5 research sessions prior to booking. (Google ThinkInsights, 2011) If an attraction’s website gives a more enticing taste of what it is like to be there, to experience the place, to know it from the inside, it will attract more customers. Adding a Virtual Venue Tour will do just that.

360VR tours won’t fully replace in-person visits any time soon. But if the experience of being there is part of an attraction’s “attraction” 360VR is best at conveying that, far better than still photos or promotional videos. And the experience can be enhanced even further by adding voiceovers, soundtracks, motion transitions and other rich media features.

Use it to increase traffic or raise revenues directly.

Occasionally we hear worries that a Virtual Venue Tour is so good, viewers may no longer feel the need to visit in person. But a tour can be specifically designed to give simply a taste, to whet the appetite for more. For the right type of attraction, a high quality, high resolution Virtual Venue Tour will only increase interest and traffic.

What’s more, your Virtual Venue Tour itself can raise revenues. You can charge a small admission fee for the virtual tour, you can place ads on the tour page and you can attract an underwriter to whom you give prominent credit for sponsoring the tour.

Take your historic or cultural site directly to the public with 360VR. How many people would love to visit our special historic and cultural site but can’t? Perhaps they can’t afford to travel. Maybe a handicap limits their ability to experience a site. Or important areas are inaccessible for safety reasons. What good does it do to preserve a site if the public can’t experience it? But now they can, with the help of a high quality, high resolution Virtual Tour.

360VR tours won’t fully replace in-person visits any time soon. But if the experience of being there is part of an attraction’s “attraction” a​ is the next best thing by far. Online visitors can experience your site from the inside, up close and personal, almost as if they’re there. They can view and explore it in ways that just aren’t possible with still images or video.

Use it to increase traffic or raise revenues directly.

Consider that 85% of leisure travelers consider the internet their main source of travel planning and the average traveler visits ~22 travel related sites during 9.5 research sessions prior to booking. (Google ThinkInsights, 2011) If an destination’s website gives a more enticing taste of what it is like to be there, to experience the place, it will attract more in-person visitors. Adding an interactive, easily navigable Virtual Tour will do just that.

What’s more, your Virtual Tour can help raise revenues. You can charge a small admission fee for the virtual tour, you can place ads on the tour page and you can attract an underwriter to whom you give prominent credit for sponsoring the tour.

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