More and more businesses are beginning to use virtual tours to show themselves to potential customers rather than sending brochures in the post. These are particularly suitable for businesses such as hotels and other venues who can use them to show guests all of the facilities that they have available so that they can make an informed decision about whether to book or not.
There are a lot of benefits to be gained by using virtual tours, or VT’s, as they’re known. If your business is something like a hotel you probably spend a lot of money every year on printing brochures, each of which has to be individually posted to potential guests. When you have a VT all you need to do is send the potential guest the link and he or she can then see for themselves and get a compete idea of the facilities that you provide, the rooms that are available, and so on. You can show them the bar, your dining room, your pool, and whatever other facilities you provide. So rather than just showing them a photo of your pool, you can show film of families actually using it and having fun. It makes your pool come alive.
With 360 panoramic photography your potential guests can walk through the scenes moving them around so that they can see the walls, the floor, your comfortable seating, the lighting, and they can zoom in and zoom out, so they get to see everything you offer. And once you have covered the initial expense, your VT lasts for years. So instead of paying a small fortune for printing brochures all the time, you just direct people to your VT. Not only do you continue to save money, but you are helping to save the environment. Everybody is doing their best to cut down on plastic and water use, and now we can save paper too. No more rubbish bins full of old brochures.
Not only do you have to pay to have brochures printed all the time, you also have to have somewhere to store them. Many offices had a filing clerk just to file way all the endless documents a business produced, but when you do it online you do away with all that too.
If you are exhibiting at a trade show all you need is a tablet on your stand. There is no need to cart a load of brochures for people to take away when you can show your products in action on a tablet. That, of course, is another big benefit. Let’s say you sell lawnmowers. You can show a photograph of one in a printed brochure, or you can show it being used to mow a lawn and how quickly it does so and the beautiful green striped lawn when it has passed. That is a much more effective way to demonstrate a product than just showing a 2D picture of it.
Panoramic photography is just like the 360 Google Street View tours. In fact, estate agents are using it to rent out expensive homes in London and in other parts of the country. An article in The Guardian a few months ago described how wealthy foreigners who want to rent a home in London are spending as much as £25,000 a week on rent without having set foot inside the home. A property agent described how one South African investor who, for security reasons, didn’t want to give his name, and couldn’t fly over to London to view it, was shown around a home on FaceTime with the agent walking around showing him on his phone. He agreed to rent it for £12,000 a week on the spot.
The agent said that he either shows people around live or records it to show to potential tenants. However, in the case of most businesses a recording is sufficient because your hotel is going to be the same all the time and so is your lawnmower. It is not as if you are showing something different this week from what you did last week. And if you design and produce a super de-luxe model of your lawnmower which mows the lawn automatically without needing anyone to control it you can just have another film made of that when you put it on the market.