Windlesham House School Case Study

 

As Real As Virtual Gets
The Benefits Of A Virtual ‘Run-Through’
...Before An In-Person ‘Walk-Through’

 

Lucy Thornton, Head of Marketing & Admissions at Windlesham House School, one of the leading private day and boarding schools in the UK, explains how Windlesham has pioneered the use of EdVR’s fully immersive 3D Virtual Tours for Schools Marketing & Admissions…

View Windlesham’s 3D Virtual Tours:

www.windlesham.com/virtual-tour


 

 

SHORTLISTED FOR THE AMCIS DIGITAL IMPACT AWARDS 2022

We are delighted to announce that our 3D Virtual Tour created for Windlesham House School, and their associated marketing and admissions activity, has just been shortlisted for the AMCIS Digital Impact Awards 2022.

The winners of all the 2022 IMPACT Award categories will be announced at the AMCIS IMPACT Awards Ceremony.

The ceremony will take place at the AMCIS Annual Conference Dinner during the 2022 AMCIS Annual Conference on Monday 9 May 2022.

 

 


QUESTION:  Why did you decide to invest in 3D Virtual Tours of Windlesham?

We have always valued the opportunity to welcome prospective families on-site to tour Windlesham and to meet our staff and pupils but the pandemic suddenly stopped that and we soon discovered the shortcomings and frustrations of online meetings as an alternative to cancelled Open Days and private tours.

We began looking for something more that would not only give our prospective families the opportunity to really explore Windlesham during the pandemic but also serve us in the near-future when families will inevitably short-list schools remotely before visiting and use virtual reality day-to-day. 

The 360 imagery which many schools were introducing during lockdown to provide basic ‘virtual tours’ were limited and we wanted something much more immersive, engaging and useful... not only offering online visitors the opportunity to really ‘run-through’ our facilities virtually, in a similar way to a gaming experience, but also to feel welcomed too. 

Our new 3D Virtual Tours are the result and we are very pleased with them!


QUESTION:  How have the 3D Virtual Tours been received by prospective families?

As real as virtual reality gets, the tours have proved a big hit - our 3D Virtual Tours webpage soon became our main landing page for 1000s of visitors to the website from organic searches and online promotion... and especially from those enjoying our alternative 'Outtakes' video. 

Prospective parents and pupils unable to visit immediately or who want to take a first look at the school have been impressed by the depth of information and insight they have gained from the 3D Virtual Tours, not just in terms of how the school looks, the classrooms, the dorms, the grounds and the facilities but also the character and the ethos of the school.

As a result we have seen an uplift in enquiries and have received some very positive comments from prospective parents and students such as:

"We have really enjoyed exploring your virtual tour and we are even more excited to see the school in person and meet the staff and children.”

We’ve also been delighted to discover that families have returned to the 3D Virtual Tours after visiting Windlesham in person, to remind themselves what they saw and to finalise their choice of Windlesham over other schools they visited.

 

 


QUESTION: How do you see 3D Virtual Tours enhancing and benefitting the rest of your marketing and admissions activity?

We see this as the next step in virtual tours for schools - especially having pushed our supplier EdVR to use the very latest software to further enhance the virtual tour experience - a cutting edge marketing and admissions tool providing a much more advanced, self-directed 'gaming' experience that is fully engaging and can be accessed via any PC, laptop or phone and by using Virtual Reality goggles too (such as the Meta Quest, HTC, Apple Glasses, Playstation VR etc).

It is this option for our prospective families to have a virtual ‘run-through’ areas of the school exploring and discovering different aspects of the learning, playing and living experience we offer at Windlesham, as well as our wonderful setting and fantastic facilities, which convinced us to invest in it. 

More than that, we have been able to embed videos and information in the virtual tour too, giving visitors a real understanding of what we offer and positive impression of our staff and our community, as well as our buildings and facilities... a chance for prospective parents and pupils to 'meet' the human side of life at Windlesham and the different characters here, as they tour.


QUESTION:  As well as the opportunity for prospective families to have a virtual ‘run-through’ before an in-person ‘walk-through’, are there any other ways the 3D Virtual Tours benefit the Admissions process?

Yes, the 3D Virtual Tours can be used live online too when meeting with prospective families remotely.

By sharing our 3D Virtual Tours through platforms like Zoom we can give them a curated virtual ‘run-through’, guiding them virtually around Windlesham and focusing on the areas of particular interest to them, such as the sciences, arts, music, IT or sports.

 

 


QUESTION:  How are you using your 3D Virtual Tours in your extended communications and outreach, with Shows & Exhibitions etc? 

Our 3D Virtual Tours are a good conversation starter on Social Media and a fantastic first introduction to Windlesham as a landing page for our online advertising (especially when combined with our 'Outtakes video').

They’re also very popular with our alumni too.  They are enjoying touring and reconnecting with their old school virtually, and showing it to their family and friends as well. 

Recently the 3D Virtual Tours proved to be a very valuable addition to our stand at the London Schools Show, allowing prospective families to take an immediate tour of our school despite being in London at the time!

The children loved the 3D Virtual Tours, entertaining them and giving them considerable insight into life at Windlesham. 

Next time we attend a show we plan to have pairs of VR goggles available for families to enjoy a 100% immersive virtual Windlesham experience!


QUESTION:  The '3D Spaces' created for the 3D Virtual Tours can be used for Estate & Facilities management and Lettings & Venue hire promotion - is this happening yet at Windlesham?

Yes, our Estates management and maintenance department have also benefited from the 3D Spaces created for the 3D Virtual Tours, using it frequently to take and share screen-grabs of different areas of the school with suppliers and to give them remote access to the site, enabling them to give advice for maintenance work without having to even come on site or to quote and plan work before visiting the school.

This has continued to be very useful after the Covid-19 lockdowns etc, speeding up the whole maintenance process.

We also anticipate using the 3D Virtual Tours for marketing our Lettings & Venue hire too, and for helping to on-board clients and to assist them with their event planning.

 

 


QUESTION:  How was the process planning, producing and launching the 3D Virtual Tours? 

The creation of the 3D Virtual Tours and the embedding of the video content and information was work intensive but good fun too.

The EdVR team provided plenty of advice prior to shooting the virtual tour and the 360 photos and associated videos to embed later.

They worked with us over the entire period of the shoot, helping us with the site preparations etc, and then they undertook all the post-production work to create and launch the virtual tour, embedding it in our website and advising on our marketing and communications strategy for the new tour.

We are thrilled with the end product and what it has done for us and we are really pleased with the service we received from the EdVR team. 

The future is exciting too - we are exploring some cutting-edge new software offering new features including augmented reality and we plan to use VR Goggles more extensively at shows etc for a 100% immersive experience.

I have no hesitation in recommending EdVR’s service to other schools! 

Lucy Thornton

Head Of Marketing & Admissions, Windlesham House School

 

Interested to know more?

Let's have a chat - we suggest an initial no obligation Zoom discussion about your requirements and how best you and your colleagues can utilise 3D Virtual Reality Tours and/or 3D Spaces... to arrange an online discussion or simply to ask a question or for more information about what is involved, please contact Matthew, Siobhan or Liz:

Tel:  +44 (0) 1980 620575

Email:  schools@isbi.com

 

"We have really enjoyed exploring your virtual tour and we are even more excited to see the school in person and meet the staff and children.”

 

Windlesham
House School

Windlesham House School is the oldest preparatory school in Great Britain and it was the first prep boarding school to welcome both boys and girls.

EdVR has produced a number of immerseive 'walk-through' 3D Virtual Tours for Windlesham, with videos, 360 photographs and information embedded in the tours to further engage and inform prospective families.

Quicklinks:

>>  Introduction To EdVR

>>  Marketing & Admissions

>>  Alumni Relations & Former Parents

>>  Development, Fundraising & Donor Relations

>>  Estate & Facilities Management

>>  Lettings & Venue Hire 

>>  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

>>  Packages & Pricing