A partnership between Stadium Experience and Hi-impact Media is transforming the way conference, events and catering teams are promoting facilities in sports stadia across the country, using 3D Virtual Tours technology.
Sales and Marketing teams in the hospitality industry have long been at the fore when it comes to using digital content to showcase venues, with professional photography, floorplans and more recently, promotional videos all being used to “explain” a space to prospective hirees. In the past year or two, the demands of the online visitor have increased and the omission of an immersive experience from a venue’s website is now seen by some as having something to hide.
3D visualisation specialists from UK based media firm Hi-impact Media have been working with the most prestigious clients in their respective industries – brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Sunseeker Yachts, Relais & Chateaux and the Roman Baths have all used Hi-impact to create 360 degree, 3D virtual tours of their spaces. Now, sporting venues such as Liverpool FC and Twickenham Stadium are creating state of the art interactive virtual tours of their existing spaces as well as 3D CGI content to promote spaces that are still at the development or planning stage.
Stadium Experience is a not-for-profit marketing collaboration of over 50 major football and rugby stadium venues across the UK and Ireland, aimed at promoting stadia as venues for every type of meeting or event. The group has partnered with Hi-impact Media to offer its members a special discount on all 3D scanning. It fits neatly into Stadium Experience’s portfolio of support services, alongside dedicated meetings to share best practice, ideas and meet relevant suppliers, building relations with key venue finding agents, showcasing at trade exhibitions, PR, advertising, online marketing and newsletters. The group meet several times a year at member venues and joining information can be found at the end of this article.
Collette Salmon, Chair of Stadium Experience, commented: “The 3D Virtual Tours have brought to life stadia, so this is a tool to really enhance your venue offering. It is fantastic to be able to sit with clients as you take them around your venue, just like you are doing a real walking tour. I think it makes a difference in getting customers across the line, particularly in a fast paced industry where clients increasingly have not got the time to go and see the venue in person.”
Hi-impact’s scanning team is probably the largest in Europe, as well as having some of the most experienced scanning operators in the world – last year alone they travelled over 50,000km creating 3D models every other day on average! Sporting venues are a speciality of Hi-impact, with more than 50 virtual tours from UK stadia already in its portfolio and many more booked in for later in the year.
In the ultra-competitive world of conference and events, sports stadia are competing with established venues such as hotels and they’ve had to step up their game in order to be taken seriously. Showcasing the uniqueness of their facilities such as large spaces, rooms with pitch views and even memorabilia museums, Hi-impact’s virtual tours are created using the very latest infrared technology. What really helps them stand out from other walkthroughs is the ability to embed interactive content within the tours – content such as links to web pages, menus and bookings, text information or even promotional videos and interviews with key staff. Suddenly, what was an already an immersive experience takes on a personality, giving a true feeling for the scale and culture of the venue.
Interactive tagging has given some clubs the opportunity to be really creative with their digital marketing – Tranmere Rovers FC, for example, have created a true virtual retail model of their club store, linking individual items out to the relevant payment pages on their eCommerce site. Others are creating views from the stands with links to ticket booking pages and even providing virtual walkouts from the changing rooms to the pitchside for fan engagement – the possibilities across an entire club are endless.
Aside from reality capture, Hi-impact’s expertise extends into the world of CGI – bringing plans to life with photoreal images, panoramics and even walkthrough video. This enables spaces to be sold to potential sponsors and clients, as well as documenting progress throughout a project lifecycle.
Operations Manager at Hi-impact, Simon Sloan has been impressed by how receptive the industry has been to the new technology: “Presenting at Stadium Experience meetings has led directly to a number of bookings for our digital media services at stadia all over the UK. Being afforded the opportunity to speak before relevant representatives from so many different venues greatly reduces the time and hassle of cold calling and when presenting at subsequent meetings we have been able to call upon existing clients in the room to give their testimonials to the group, significantly adding to the trusted reputation we are developing in the industry. Investing in Stadium Experience presentations has been extremely worthwhile and we will certainly be continuing to present as well as covering other media operations for the group, such as the annual awards night.”
As official media partners for Tranmere Rovers Football Club, Hi-impact’s team is well versed in managing the whole range of media services required by a club. From promotional videos, kit launch and product photography to junior media clubs and social media engagement, Hi-impact is developing a reputation as the trusted name within the industry for digital content.
Twickenham Stadium Events’ Marketing Executive, Laura Jefferies explained that “3D virtual tours are becoming crucial to the events industry and we are starting to see a level of client expectation for venues to have these. A huge benefit is to be able to showcase the venue to clients who are unable to attend a site visit due to time or distance and to help them visualise spaces with different setups.
We chose Hi-impact Media to work with because they were able to offer us a cost-effective solution for the expansive number of spaces we have and were able to work unsociable hours to suit us as a venue and catch it at its quietest so as not to disrupt business.
Hi-impact’s CGI team also designed client friendly floor plans for Twickenham Stadium’s new East Stand redevelopment. The level of detail that is included, from wall and flooring specs to doors and TV screens is extremely impressive and these plans have become a vital tool to enable our team to sell off plan.”
Have a look at some examples from UK stadia below, all of which are seeing sales conversions from adding this service to their online marketing strategies and get in touch with Stadium Experience or Hi-impact Media if you’d like to explore how this technology can push your venue’s digital marketing to new heights:
- Twickenham Stadium, “Nightingale Suite” – View 3D Tour
- Norwich City, “Top Of the City” Lounge – View 3D Tour
- Tranmere Rovers, Virtual MegaStore – View 3D Tour
- Liverpool FC, “Executive Lounge” – View 3D Tour
- St Helens RFC, “Hall of Fame” – View 3D Tour
Contact Hi-impact Media:
Telephone: 0151 638 6283