Open Campus – Using Virtual Tours to Engage with ALL your Audiences

Virtual tours are a very popular area just now, but they don’t just have to be a marketing tool – they’re also a simple way to bring everyone behind the doors of a university or college.

While it’s undoubtedly valuable that a prospective student can get a flavour of the environment they may be living and working in, tours are also a simple way to engage with other audiences – the public, the funders, alumni, the curious – and bring them into your institution.  While they’re admiring your outstanding architectural features or hidden points of interest, you have the chance to show off your latest research, special collections or public events. They can function as a form of open museum and break down the perceived walls that HE institutions can have.

In this workshop we’ll use examples from our tours for the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Science at the University of Edinburgh to look at the technologies, logistics and possibilities of creating virtual tours:

  • Cat-herding: Getting agreement/access/assistance across the campus.
  • Location, location, location:  The perils of coordinating virtual tours.
  • ‘It doesn’t have to look too shiny’:  Presenting the campus as a working environment.
  • Hold on to your assets:  You may have the skills within your institution to create and maintain a (low-budget!) virtual environment.

Each section will be followed by a short time for questions/discussion, followed by a general discussion at the end of the workshop on the pros and cons of virtual experiences.

The workshop would interest anyone looking to extend a current tour provision, or in creating one from scratch.


  • Title: Open Campus – Virtual Tours for HE
  • Type: Workshop session which lasts for 90 minutes
  • Hashtag: #A8
  • Facilitator: David Oulton and Aldona Gosnell, University of Edinburgh
  • Date and time: 16.00-17.30 on Tuesday 11 July 2017