Virtual Museum Tours: How Do They Measure Up In A Post Lockdown World?

By |2021-04-13T12:08:12-04:00April 13th, 2021|Blog|

Like every other industry, the art world is in a digital pivot right now. While we’ve seen virtual museum tours spike in popularity throughout this pandemic, what happens when these galleries reopen for in-person experiences? 

Firstly, the setting of these museums and galleries were originally designed for in-person experiences. Everything from the artwork to the architecture, the piping hot espresso, the art students sketching in the corner, the lush gardens, or even the gift shop are all experiences that cannot be replicated with a virtual tour.

But, when you’re unable to travel, can’t make it to the exhibition or program, or want to avoid long lines and crowded rooms, a virtual tour can be the best solution. And let’s face it, after over a year of lockdown, people will be a little apprehensive about public gatherings. In fact, for those who can appreciate the convenience of a virtual tour, that experience may even trump the in-person gallery-goer.

Virtual tours offer incredible benefits, and not just for the visitor. We’ll break down how virtual museum tours in a post lockdown world can positively impact the visitor experience as well as the gallery or museum institution.

Benefits for the Gallery/Museum visitor:

No queues

What do we mean by queues? Those pesky long lines as you’re waiting for tickets or even to just enter the exhibition floor, or when you’re left shuffling through security, only to be told that you need to take your belongings to the bag check area and get back in line. At that point, your experience has already started on the wrong foot.

Without long lines diminishing your gallery experience, visitors can be delighted from the moment they enter the exhibit to the moment they exit. Better yet, a virtual gallery or tour puts the audience in the driver’s seat. Explore, leave to run some errands, and come back at any time. We guarantee no lines, every time.

Access to your favorite exhibit or collection is only a few clicks away and entirely queue-free!

Never closed, always available

More often than not, when you do feel inspired to go to your local museum, gallery or library it’s either an hour before they open, a few minutes till they close, or entirely under construction and out until the following Spring. With virtual tours, you’ll have access to those exhibitions from anywhere, at any time!

Get up close and personal

When you visit a museum in-person, there’s usually a line or barrier between you and the priceless artifact. With virtual tours, you’re able to get up close and personal with any painting, sculpture, or artifact without the fear of compromising the piece. Instead, virtual tours encourage visitors to interact with these precious artifacts like never before. 

Clear sightlines

If you’ve been to the Louvre and had the opportunity to bask your eyes on the Mona Lisa, you may have felt a little underwhelmed. It’s only after you’ve pushed and crawled your way through the mosh pit of bobbing heads and selfie sticks before you’re able to view the masterpiece (if you’re lucky). And even then, good luck getting a picture without a whole tourist group in your background. With virtual tours, the one and only visitor in the room is you. This allows you to interact with these assets and consume the finer details in each paint stroke – something that is almost impossible to do in person.

Benefits for the Gallery/Museum curators and staff:

Curate freely

One of the largest factors for any museum or gallery curator to take into consideration is the size of their canvas; the four walls that will make up an exhibition or collective space. With virtual tours, curators can recreate the in-person flow or create an entirely new exhibit that wouldn’t be possible without the flexibility of this technology. What’s great about creating something entirely new is that it won’t compete with the in-person exhibits – it just provides an alternative path for curation.

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Preserve the past

Museums and galleries are flushed with historic artifacts, paintings, and various other elements that rarely make the exhibition floor. Oftentimes, these artifacts are stored deep in their archives. Virtual tours allow galleries to showcase their archives and preserve the artwork without shielding it from the public eye. By digitizing these works, the artifacts can be both safe and sustainable for years to come. Imagine if the Library of Alexandria digitized their ancient scrolls!

Return on investment (ROI)

In any business venture, ROI is the number one metric that guides any sales or marketing department. While it varies as to what measurement is of most value to that business, virtual tours have historically led to a direct boost in sales, increased engagement rates, and strengthens brand identity.

Here at Saganworks, we’re a leader in the 3D immersive experience space and offer groundbreaking solutions for museums and galleries looking to integrate virtual tours into their business strategy. Want to explore several galleries and museums we’ve worked with? Check them out here, or dive into a custom partnership with The Henry Ford by clicking below!

The Henry Ford partnered with Saganworks to create over 170 custom 3D digitized artifacts for their virtual exhibit centered around the story of entrepreneurship. People will have the opportunity to view photographs, documents, and digital content from collections such as the H.J. Heinz Collection, Label Collection, and the Gutman Diner Collection.

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What we are bringing you from Saganworks will allow you to continue to experience the things you love even when unforeseen circumstances limit the physical experience: a walk through your favorite museum, a portfolio to prospect for your business, an educational space for your students, employees and for yourself, the list goes on.

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