Leveraging a Virtual Platform for College Campus Tours

It's about the time of the year again, when high school juniors and seniors take time off to tour college campuses to decide on the next step in their lives.

It’s a big moment for prospects and their families along with universities and college campuses. However, there have been some major changes in the ways in which college campus tours are conducted. As more and more events turn into virtual or hybrid events, it’s becoming increasingly important for colleges to consider virtual event solutions.

A virtual event platform can help colleges create a better experience for their prospective students, and also provide many other benefits that can help the college touring process run smoother and more effectively on both ends for colleges and for students. Let’s take a look at some of those benefits and examine how a virtual venue can be a big selling point for your school.  

 

What is a Virtual College Tour?

Before we can start discussing the benefits of virtual college tours, we first need to understand what they are. A virtual tour covers the same important information that is explained during an in-person tour but takes the experience to the digital world, rather than on the campus itself. 

By using a combination of digital tools like high-definition cameras, 360-degree cameras, and a virtual event platform that organizes and runs virtual tour programming, colleges are able to meet the needs of prospective students wherever they are. Colleges are also able to leverage virtual platforms and event technology to make the entire process of touring easier and more inclusive. 

This process was extremely beneficial during the COVID-19 travel restrictions and safety requirements; but, many colleges plan to continue offering a virtual college campus tour, thanks to the many benefits they receive from the option. By offering virtual college tours, universities are able to connect with more prospective students, which can mean that they are able to get more applications and expand their marketing. They are also a big cost saver.

 

Benefits of a Virtual College Tour Program

Knowing how a virtual event platform can help your college is an important part of understanding the value of investing in a partnership with a virtual event software provider. Let’s take a look at some of those major benefits and explore how event engagement tools can create better experiences for your prospects.

 

Wider Reach

One of the most significant benefits of virtual college tours is that colleges and universities are able to obtain a wider reach of potential students. That can include those who live far away from the campus and are unable to travel due to time or expense, as well as students who might have other obligations that limit their ability to come to campus to tour in person. When you can engage with a wider audience, you can increase the number of applications that your school gets and have a bigger pool of potential candidates to select from when building your next group of incoming students. 

 

Personalized Experience

In-person college tours are often big groups of people following a guide who has a set script for what to say and what features of the campus to highlight. While this is helpful for managing large groups of tours, it can be a little impersonal. When you run virtual college tours, you are able to have more tours with fewer groups of people, as you don’t have to plan for lunches, accommodations, and the management of the large tour groups. Instead, the guide can make the experience more immersive and personalized for the prospective students, which can in turn make your school more appealing to them.

 

No Time Limits

Virtual college tours have more flexibility than in-person tours, where the prospective students and their families are required to stay with the group and go through the pre-planned tour schedule. With virtual college tours, people can enter and exit the tour as needed, and then re-enter as they please to attend specific tour talking points without following along the entire time.

 

Lower Costs

One of the major appeals of virtual campus tours to colleges is that they are much less expensive than in-person tours. For the price of some virtual event products and a platform subscription, college administrations can run more tours and avoid costs usually associated with in-person tours like parking passes, travel stipends, food vouchers, and employee costs.

 

Interactive Capabilities

Another great benefit of virtual tours is the interactive capabilities that are available to prospective students. Interactive virtual tours make it easy for students to learn new and helpful information in an engaging format. Things like virtual booths, discussion panels, and spotlight events can make the entire tour more engaging for prospects.

 

Networking Opportunities

Colleges might think that making college tours virtual means that prospective students might miss out on important networking opportunities to meet with peers, administration, or professors in the areas of study they are thinking of pursuing. However, the opposite is true. Because virtual tours have fewer time constraints and limitations, there are more opportunities for online networking and engagement through virtual event platform tools like breakout rooms and chat options.

 

Streamlined Process

A virtual event platform streamlines the way that a college campus tour is run. Everything from viewing courses and majors to exploring different areas of the campus all come under one technology that allows prospective students to view everything that the university has to offer without having to miss things or cut out parts of a tour due to a lack of time or ability.

 

Advanced Tools

Virtual event platforms use advanced tools like 360-degree cameras and live streams to create better touring experiences. With the right partner, you can avoid any concerns about dropped calls or grainy footage and create an experience for prospective students that gives them more than an in-person event could.

 

Virtual Platforms in Action: The University of Southern California’s Hybrid Commencement Ceremony

Virtual college tours and the ability to leverage virtual events platforms aren’t just an idea. Many colleges and universities are using this technology today to create a completely virtual or hybrid event that delights both the administration and the students. Take, for example, the University of Southern California’s hybrid commencement ceremonies, which were immensely successful. 

With the help of 6Connex’s virtual events platform, USC was able to host more than 50,000 virtual participants for their 2021 commencement ceremonies. By using the 6Connex virtual event platform alongside in-person activities, the hybrid approach was able to optimize the experience for the students and their families. 

With the goal in mind to create a virtual campus environment full of activities where virtual attendees could feel just as involved as in-person attendees, USC used the 6Connex Soar enterprise-grade virtual event solution to power the event. And they were so pleased with the end result that they plan to continue leveraging the platform for 2022 ceremonies and more.

USC Commencement virtual event platform welcome screen

 

Creating an Exceptional Experience with 6Connex

Creating a successful college admissions experience is important for every college and university across the country. Being able to adapt and adjust to the digital expectations of students is an important part of the current admissions process, and creating exceptional virtual tours is part of that process. 6Connex has the advanced platform and tools necessary to help you realize your virtual college tour ambitions. Request a virtual platform demo today, and see what a 6Connex partnership can do for your school!


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