How to run a Live Virtual Tour

It’s easy to run a live virtual tour on Placecloud. Having done it once, you’ll see how easy it is!

Key Tip

Before beginning, it’s worth reminding yourself of this key tip, as it’s important to both the preparation and the delivery of your live virtual tour.

Begin every stop by telling your participants what they’re looking at.

Describe what the building is in very simple terms. Situate it in its immediate environment, and in the wider city.

Only then, when your participants really feel grounded, should you begin to expand your narrative.

1. Prepare Tour Stops

Tours should last around 50 mins (max 60 mins). Usually this means about 5 tour stops of 10 mins each (5 mins talking & 5 mins Q&A)

Once you’ve decided on your locations, make sure the Google Street View imagery for each location is crisp and clear, and not being blocked, for example, by a bus.

Next, prepare what you will say at each place. This is a live tour, so please do not write a script. Though of course feel free to prepare notes / bullet points.

2. Prepare Extra Viewpoints

The best way to promote your live tour is to publish several standalone viewpoints with a similar theme to your tour.

These viewpoints, further to their basic, permanent value as viewpoints, also double as advertisements for your tour. People can listen to your viewpoints for free, and if they like what they hear, they may buy tickets to your live virtual tour.

So, if your tour consists of 5 locations, and you want to make a further 3 – 5 independent viewpoints to help sell tickets to your tour, this means you can prepare 8 – 10 locations along the same broad narrative theme.

For guidance on publishing viewpoints, see: How to Make a Viewpoint. The rest of this How To will focus on creating your live virtual tour.

3. Create your tour stops

In Placecloud, a tour stop is simply a viewpoint without an audio file added. 

So, simply make a viewpoint (without audio) for each of your stops.

In the ‘Me’ dropdown, select “New Viewpoint”.

  • Complete the Basic Info, Location, and Streetview sections. 
  • Leave out the Audio, Featured image, Online images and Book sections
  • If you want to add Supporting Files (image, PDF, MP3) to the tour stop, complete this section. (These files will be made available to participants as a link which opens out the file in a new tab in their browser.)

Repeat for all your tour stops.

3. Create a Live Virtual Tour

In the ‘Me’ dropdown, select “New Virtual Tour”.

  1. Complete the sections
    • In the ‘Locations’ section, remember to order the stops correctly
  2. Go back to ‘My Live Tours’
  3. Review your new tour room by clicking the tour title
  4. If you need to make any changes, just press ‘Edit’

You have now created a ‘tour room’ for this tour. You can run as many live virtual tours you like using this tour room.

Each time you want to run a live virtual tour, you need to create an Event for it so that you can schedule the event and sell tickets.

4. Create an Event

In the ‘Me’ dropdown, select ‘New Event’.

Complete the sections. Go back to ‘My Events’ and press ‘View’. When you’re happy all the details are correct, press ‘Publish’.

Promote your event by sharing the event page’s URL to your social media channels, email groups, blogs, WhatsApp, etc. 

5. Run your live virtual tour

A few minutes before the start of your tour, go to ‘My Events’ in the ‘Me’ dropdown.

Select your Event and go into the tour room.

When you’re ready to begin your tour, press ‘start streaming’.

Some pointers:

  • Arrive in the tour room and start streaming a few minutes early, so that participants know they have come to the right place.
  • Wait 2 mins after the start time before beginning, to wait for latecomers
  • Begin with Housekeeping. Tell participants the following Housekeeping rules (write down the rules and keep them near you):
    • Refresh: if participants are experiencing difficulties with the live stream or the chatbox, they should refresh their browser. This will solve the problem.
    • Chatbox: introduce the chatbox by inviting everyone to say ‘hi’. This creates a bit of community spirit for the tour, and gives you an idea of how many participants are in the tour room.
    • Questions: encourage your participants to ask questions via the chatbox whenever they like. You will answer as many questions as you can at the end of each stop (don’t answer questions as they are posted)
    • Feedback: Paste the feedback link (https://placecloud.typeform.com/to/tjEDgz) in the chatbox. Ask them to fill it in after the tour. Tell them it’s really important for you as a virtual guide and for Placecloud. Paste it in the chatbox again at the end of the tour.
  • Remember to begin every stop by telling participants what they’re looking at
  • Remember to speak slowly!

Fees & Income

You keep 70% of net income from tour sales (Placecloud retains 30% as its commission). Net income is calculated as: gross income (ticket price x number of tickets sold), minus VAT and a service fee of £0.75 per ticket.

VAT – Value Added Tax. Placecloud needs to collect 20% of sales and pass it on to HMRC.

Service Fee – this is a fixed fee charged to the customer of £0.75 per ticket which covers 3rd party costs such as transaction fees.

Here is an example breakdown of a ticket sold at £10 :

Ticket Price£10.00
VAT (20%)£2.00
Service Fee£0.75
Placecloud£2.18
Your income per ticket£5.08
Your income at 10 tickets sold£50.75
Your income at 30 tickets sold£152.25

Please note: Placecloud editorial staff may occasionally issue discount coupons to certain individuals to encourage them to try live virtual tours. These coupons may therefore occasionally be redeemed in your tours

Enjoy It

Most important of all… Enjoy it!! These tours are really good fun, and you’re doing something amazing. You’re educating people and entertaining them at the same time. You’re making the world a better place 🙂