3D Design Bureau

Virtual Tour Open Days for Schools & Universities

Virtual Tour Open Days

COVID-19 is causing a lot of Irish schools and universities to reassess how they are going to host their open days. With safety and accessibility at the forefront of everyone’s minds, it is not a surprise that 3D virtual tours are becoming increasingly popular.

3D virtual tours bring schools and universities directly to prospective students, pupils, and their families from the safety and comfort of their homes. Leading up to Ireland’s open day season, presenting an immersive 3D virtual tour will allow students and parents alike to explore a school or campus in detail 24/7 online.

Our Happy Clients

St. Cuan’s College, Galway:

“We are delighted with the product delivered by 3D Design Bureau. We were able to get the product out to all families in our area. Not only was it used for the purposes of enrolment but also has built links with the wider community. The service we got was excellent. The people were very easy to deal with. The company told us exactly what we had to do to prepare for their visit. The product was delivered on time, ready for use. I would definitely recommend this company to any school.”

– Cathal Jordan, Principal.

Scoil Mhuire Buncrana, Donegal

“We were delighted with the prompt and efficient service that you provided.  Given the current climate, it was an excellent way for us to showcase our schools to prospective students as well as allowing our past pupils a trip down memory lane! The virtual tour also allows the students who have enrolled to constantly revisit it and allow them the opportunity of familiarising themselves with the school and the grounds prior to their joining us in September. We would thoroughly recommend you.”

– Rosaleen Grant, Principal.

A Virtual Tour Open Day in Action

Mercy Mounthawk Secondary School in Tralee recently launched its virtual open day experience. The tour had been live for only a couple of days and had been viewed by 3,200 prospective students and parents.

To create a fully immersive experience we integrated over 60 ‘Mattertags’ within the tour that included video welcomes, footage of school activities and video breakdowns of each subject.

Our virtual tours operator took over 500 scans to create a dollhouse digital model of the building’s interiors and integrated ten 360-degree photos of the school’s exterior amenities. Explore their introductory video:

What is a Matterport Virtual Tour?

Matterport virtual tours, also known as 3D tours or 360 tours, allow viewers to digitally tour any built space. The viewer controls which part of the space they look at and from which angle — think of it like Street View on Google Maps, but for interiors and exteriors of a property.

Matterport virtual tours can be embedded on any website and shared via a direct link for social media, email, or text. As well as showcasing a 3D virtual tour, high-quality content such as promotional videos, 4K photographs, and GIFs can be easily extracted from a tour.

Make a Personal Connection

As well as presenting the physical elements of a space, in-tour elements can be added to create a personal connection with the viewer. In-tour features such as important school information and even pre-recorded video welcome from teachers, head pupils/students, and current parents.

Integrating in-tour features within a virtual tour allows viewers to get a proper feel for a school or campus by exploring every aspect of its buildings, classrooms, and facilities in true-to-life quality.

Features of Matterport Virtual Tours:

In-Tour Tags:

Embed annotations and media into the tour to highlight key features of a classroom or facility. They are the little circles that appear within the tour.

HD Photos:

4K print quality photography automatically generated.

Guided Tours:

Automatically generate video tours that highlight the attributes of a school or campus.

Floor Plans:

Generate schematic floor plans of a building.

Measure Tool:

Ability to measure any aspect of a space, such as walls, windows, desks, and more…amazing to check for disability access in schools!

Dollhouse View:

View your school’s entire layout from above.

Virtual Tour Open Day Benefits:


By hosting your open day online, you are removing barriers, and even anxiety, for prospective parents and students. There are a lot of people who may not be able to attend in person – whether it is because of government restrictions, busy schedules, or simply not being able to travel.

3D virtual tours make your open day accessible to anyone with an internet connection or smartphone. As 3D virtual tours are accessible online 24/7, you are also increasing your school or university’s reach and engagement from anywhere in the country.


Running an open day can be expensive, especially considering the extra measures that must be put in place to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines. With a virtual open day, you can drastically reduce the cost of your physical viewings.

Once scanned, a school or campus virtual tour can be showcased throughout the year without any maintenance costs or additional fees.

Competitive Edge

Competitive edge: Now, we are not saying that there should be a competitive nature between neighbouring schools or anything – but with a 3D virtual tour, your school will definitely stand out!

Having a fully immersive experience that showcases your school, introduces its key features, and even being welcomed by staff and teachers, is an invaluable tool in a competitive market.

Social Media

Elaborating further on that ever-important competitive edge, generated content to share on social media is invaluable. Through the virtual tours, you can generate 4k photos, promotional videos, and GIFs from any point within the tour.

This high-value content can be added to your school’s website and easily shared on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.

How to Prepare: Virtual Tour Open Days

1. Identify Key Areas: While we are sure that every aspect of your school is amazing – there may be no need to allow users to explore every nook and cranny. Much like a physical open day, you want to lead visitors through best assets of your school and section off areas that you do not want to be explored. It is important to identify key areas such as science labs, woodwork rooms, auditoriums, and other specialty rooms. This will result in a better experience for your online visitors and reduce costs by enabling less time spent on-site scanning.

2. In-Tour Tags: We can add content tags to any point within a 3D virtual tour. It is important to identify what information you would like displayed to viewers as they navigate your space. For example, You can place in-tour tags within a sports hall to provide information about the different activities that take place there.

3. In-Tour Content: We can also add content tags to any location within a virtual tour such as images, videos, and GIFs. This is a feature that a lot of schools and universities do not make enough use of. For example We can place a welcome video message from the school’s principal at the beginning of the tour. Each room can also have a video message or image introducing a teacher or head pupil who would like to explain more about their school’s key features.

4. Scrubbing Up: It is very important to ensure that the school is presented in its finest form before we begin scanning. It is both a blessing and a curse that our 3D virtual tours are so high quality. Every aspect of your school will be viewable in full 360-degrees and zoomable. This means that viewers will be able to pick up on debris/dust on the floors and windows. We suggest giving the building a full clean and ensuring that snags such as holes, bumps, or loose wiring are fixed (or well hidden).

5. Lighting: The existing mood of the school or campus is highly influenced by lighting. Try to ensure that lighting fixtures are fully operational and tested prior to scanning.

6. Catering: While you may not be having a physical open day this year, it is still very important to provide a few little treats here and there. If our photographer comes across a delicious pastry on his journey through your school, you will make his day!

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