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Economic Development Hacks: Selling Your Community With Virtual FAM Tours

Economic Development Hacks: Selling Your Community With Virtual FAM Tours Main Photo

9 Aug 2021

Blog, News

Virtual FAM Tours are coming to the rescue for economic developers forced to adjust their initiatives post-COVID-19. The challenges of 2020 had a polarizing effect on Economic Development initiatives. Some EDOs chose to hit the "pause" button, while others found innovative ways to make big strides. Those who were focused on workforce development knew that current events were causing skilled workers in major cities to envision life in a location that would provide respite from the "Three C's" of urban life: costs, congestion, and crime. according to a recent Gallup Poll, at the end of 2020, 48% of Americans state a desire to live in a town or rural location instead of a major metropolitan area. EDOs who want to capitalize on this emerging opportunity are rolling out the red carpet by way of VR tours.

If you haven't experienced VR at all, or even for a few years, it's time to visit that medium. Today's VR experience is light years ahead of what it used to be, and thanks to advancing technologies, it just keeps getting better!

Here are 4 Hacks for Selling Your Community With Virtual FAM Tours

Be Authentic

Your virtual reality video isn't just a presentation, it's an invitation. If your FAM Tour does its job, people will visit with intent. Keeping this in mind will help you portray your community as a place that feels comfortable in its own skin. It's important that you not only identify and showcase your location's unique character and genuine strengths, but also that you resist any temptation to oversell its less stellar aspects. Anything that carries even a hint of "bait and switch" can hurt your credibility.

Here are some great examples:





Use Storytelling

The goal of a FAM Tour isn't to simply help people see your location, it's to help them understand and remember it. Never underestimate the power of giving historical context and/or providing video clips and soundbites that feature longtime locals and recent transplants making candid comments about the community. Facts tell. Stories sell.

Here is a great example:



Have Fun With Interactivity

The best way to keep today's audience engaged is to let them have fun. Take advantage of all VR technology has to offer by serving up a multi-faceted experience designed to showcase sites and provide key information while encouraging viewers to immerse themselves as they look around with their headsets on (or, for desktop/mobile viewers: click, drag) and move around at their own pace.

Here is a great example: 



Optimize Outreach

Few things have further reach than a well-produced virtual FAM Tour when it comes to selling your location in terms of jobs, lifestyle, and opportunities for long-term success. A quality VR tour will have a long shelf life and will serve as a viable multi-use investment. Adding your VR Fam tour to your website is just a start. It also belongs on YouTube, all of your social media platforms, and should be shared with everyone on your mailing list.

Ship a set of VR goggles to your most promising prospects and invite them to a VR meeting they'll never forget. Who needs a plane ticket when scientific studies have shown that the brain responds to VR as though the person were actually in the location?

For more ideas on your VR FAM Tour outreach strategy, click here.

Not only can VR help with the hearts and minds of investors, site selectors, and highly desirable workers, but it can also help entice skilled folks who moved away to consider coming back.

Connect, recruit, retain, repeat...

To learn more about selling your community with virtual FAM Tours, contact us today!

Related Articles:

3 Powerful Ways Economic Developers Can Give Site Tours in a Virtual World

What's the Secret to Successful Economic Development Virtual Meetings?

How Economic Developers Can Engage & Collaborate With Communities Virtually

How Economic Development Teams Can Easily Work Together Virtually

4 Steps to Take Site Selectors & Prospects on a Virtual Journey to Close More Deals

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