After attending a meeting with the owners of a private gym just outside the small town of Devizes in Wiltshire, the Lion Tree Virtual Tours team were faced with their largest project to date. We arrived with the intention to discuss the possibility of a virtual tour but not only did Route 2 Fitness want a three scene virtual tour but also a website to host it on and a 2 minute promotion video exhibiting the classes on offer to potential members.

What a lot of people may not know is that one member of the Lion Tree team worked with Microsoft helping large clients increase their SEO and has a background in developing websites. So of course building a website for the private gym would not be an impossible task. Another member of the Lion Tree Virtual Tours team had two years previous experience creating promotional videos for local businesses around the South West.

A gym’s busiest time is just after the Christmas period for obvious reasons. It was already November and we knew everything needed to go live a few weeks before Christmas to get potential members excited about joining. Communication with the members of Staff was key to get everything ready for the launch date set at 7th December. The only time all members of Staff could be present was 23rd November (exactly two weeks before the launch date) to shoot the promotional video and virtual tour. The day went fantastically we arrived and due to great co-operation from everyone involved, we had everything wrapped up before dark.

We did not waste any time and made sure we had all the necessary footage and it was all encoded for when we entered the office on Monday morning. It’s very important before shooting anything you’ve story boarded and created a shot list to use as a guideline on the day, otherwise you might find yourself standing around wondering what to do next, which obviously does not look great in front of employers. Also by planning the shoot you are able to sit down in the edit suite and already know roughly where each clip goes.

The Lion Tree Virtual Tours team wanted to use this opportunity to really show off their capabilities and really make this tour unique. We experimented combining video with virtual tours. There are examples of 360 x 180 video virtual tours but this wasn’t what we had in mind. We wanted to incorporate videos as the hot spots, something we had not come across before. This would allow us to showcase the different classes available on the virtual tour, providing a more insightful tour.

Every element of this project was worked around what the gym represented. We had a meeting before planning anything with more than one member of staff to really get a feel for what the owners wanted out of the different parts of their online presence. We showcased everything to the staff a week before we went live and thankfully all the members had only great things to say about our ideas. On 7th December 2012 the new Route 2 fitness website went live including their virtual tour and promotional video. Everything can be seen at www.route2fitness.co.uk.