panorama software,virtual tour software
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2006-06-29
#1

Hotels and Virtual Tours April 2006

Just thought I would mention this:

April 2006 "Audit"

http://www.hotel-online.com/News/PR2006_2nd/Apr06_ICEPortalAudit.html 

Text Quote:

As more hotel rooms and travel are researched and sold over the Internet, the ability to effectively show a product online becomes vital, ICE Portals Woodman said. 

Current research indicates that rich media, like virtual tours, generate 46 percent more bookings than still images, he said. From all indications, those numbers are growing, and so is our customers satisfaction.

Hank Sagman, director of multimedia for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, said Starwood uses ICE Portal to host and distribute its virtual tours both for our branded Web sites and for third-party travel sites

The reasons we partnered with ICE Portal, Sagman said, are threefold: They have a good footprint of travel partner sites. We know that when we give our tours to ICE Portal, they will get the widest distribution possible; 2) ICE Portal uses the best available and latest technologies so our virtual tours look great; 3) The customer service provided to Starwood by Henry Woodman is excellent. We get quick answers to our questions which result in a great partnership performance.

"We think virtual tours provide a great added value, Sagman said. Virtual tours provide a travel researcher with a true knowledge of what each space looks like. We have tremendous confidence in the look and design of our properties to visually display them via a 360 degree view and we have tremendous confidence in ICE Portal to display them correctly.

/text quote


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Dave
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2006-06-29
#2

They are not even using virtual technology. I followed the link to ICE Portal and searched hotels in the US and they offered a list of hotels. I clicked three of them and they were all low grade cheesy video with Tom Carvel (New Enland, US resident joke, basically any joe over 50 doing his own promotion) doing the voice over.

Now you provided this to show that there is opportunity for sure. Seeing the video I feel I should call every destination within 60 mi. tomorrow.

Link to the ice portal

http://www.iceportal.com/ice/WTVPortal/Pages/IceSearch.aspx?rgnSelected=United%20States


John R Sembrot
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2006-06-29
#3

Hmm you obviously are in a better viewing position than I am.   I just took a look at what they were showing for Fort Worth.  Arrrrggg FUZZY streaming Movie.  Not sure if I would visit our fair city Fort Worth after looking at that.  LOLLLLLL  AND I LIVE HERE ?

Dave


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2006-06-29
#4
I did a search for my state CT and found two hotels. One with IPIX and another with the 3 in. video. I should really call on some commercial prospects.
John R Sembrot
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2006-06-30
#5

I wouldn't want you folks to think that we're stillat the stone age in France, but by saying that you wouldn't be too far from the truth :)))

The largest Real Estate companies don't use Virtual Tour technologies, they often don't even display photos of the houses they have for sale. No need to mention tourism...

That's why I want to start my own business, because I would be the first to do it in my area. Living from a hobby (photography) is a luck that not a lof of people can have :)

Alexandre


Alexandre G.
MSN: agagnaire@chablinet.com
Nikon D50 - Nikkor 10.5mm - NN3 - Manfrotto055CLB - Panoweaver 4.0 - Tourweaver 2.0
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2006-06-30
#6
Real Estate practices vary considerably from State to State and Country to Country. You can be that real estate marketing will continue to get more sophisticated.
John R Sembrot
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2006-06-30
#7

General Lee pounds his head on the table as he is reading this....LOL  awww heck that hurts. Mabey I should go fishing instead.

See the thing is these big boys have the "distrubition" thing figured out for sure. But the don't have the "production" part figured out. The problem for us is getting these big boys to talk to us.

I have called some big names and every time I get...."do you have media kit". They expect some high dollar fancy ass CD with 20 pages of slick brochures and a fashion model to present it to all the "suits". Its like they can't talk to you unless you are listed on the stock exchange. OMG.......this stuff get me going on my soap box.

It's so simple. Hire a good panoramic photographer to take the images. Then they can "distrubute" them how ever they want through the for mentioned companies.

I have soap boxed in this before about the big boys not having any concept of what a "virtual tour" really is. I am amazed to see some of the crap that is out there. When you are talking cheap real estate stuff for cheap prices thats another matter. But when it comes to vacation/resort marketing thats is something totally different considering the money there is to be made by these companies.

What we really need is a "round table" of really good photographers specializing in panoaramic images and wide angel architectural photos. And some good videographers as well.

I read an article that apperared in the December 2005 issue of Shutterbug magazine. To quote the opening paragraph..."Seven of the world's leading photojournalists and documentary photographers came together to form Agency VII on September 9, 2001"

And futher ...."The small group of friends.....saw the industry was changing and it was becoming apparent that as photographers they would fare better by taking responsibility for their own carreers and empowering themselves to move in both the world of business as well as in their photography."

I am so frustrated with trying to get bigger accounts. My product is wayyyyyyyyyyyy better than some of the stuff they are getting from the big boys. And I am sure a lot of you feal the same way especially when you look at what is out there. Those cheasy video's are just one example.

We need to form "Agency 360" comprised of those of use who have mastered panoramic photography and can make great images. We need aerial specialists, crowd specialists, still specialists, scene/model setup specialists, and action specialists all having the ability to make great panoramas. Such a group could cooperativly get contracts from major players.

One man is but a grane of sand but several can move mountains.

General Lee


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2006-06-30
#8

True.. one grain of sand... is one thing... ALOT can move a mountain.

Question:

Should we collective start a new organization with goal setting?

or Join with: IQTVRA or some other organization

How many on this Forum participated in this last World Wide Panorama Event "Gardens" if for only 'Name and panorama product recognition" ?

Do I hear a "Revolution" forming in the mix ?    Hang all the still photographers ... as the rant  raves on !!!!


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Dave
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2006-07-03
#9

You mean to actually get organized. I barely get the clean laundry back in my dresser by the end of the week. Change things? Standing on a soapbox is one thing, smoking on a soapbox is another, I gotta get me some of that. Go brother, Organize, Organize, Organize Gen Lee (Gompers).

No I did not participate in the event, I guess it is a bit of a one grain of sand blowing in the wind thing for me. How does one little pano from me make a difference? Especially with those damn stars at the top of my panos!

The bar would have to be quite high. Full 360 x 180 in my opinion to be a professional organization. Has anyone done a pano search on Flickr.com. Now there is the army, I was surprised to see how appealing this technology is to people.

Gen Lee that whole distribution vs. production gets right to short hairs. The higher the production value the more demand there would be.

How about a Company with the stuff the suits need and use resources like this to farm out global work?


John R Sembrot
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2006-07-03
#10

It sounds like what you are talking about is forming a professional organization with multi-state chapters. Instead of being an organization however, you want to form a multi-member corporation. I'm assuming there would be more than 75 people thereby precluding an LLC.

Agency 360, I like that name, would almost have to have each of its corporate members know each other personally in order to maintain the strictest quality controls. A weekend meeting at some central U.S. location might do the trick.

Once you have the ethical standards and QC in place you've got to figure out a pricing schematic for each region of the U.S. In essence you'd have to almost let each member of A360 decide how much they are going to charge for their particular services. 

You know, you probably could get away with an LLC, I can't see more than 75 people at first.

Secondly it would help a heck of a lot with taxes since they would be pass-through which would make things so much easier come tax time.

Each member of Agency 360 would be an individual salesperson, but be able to boast "Agency 360 has "offices" in 34 states helping to satisfy your individual location needs".

Therefore you look a whole lot bigger than the sum of the individual parts.

Agency 360 would have to run a referral program should one person grab a hotel chain and need the shoots in other states by other members. Of course, you could also sub-contract the work to someone if there wasn't a member in that particular location.

Just a few thoughts, this does have tremendous promise. I have set-up a few LLC's before. Its really not that hard. The tricky part would be the infrastructuring of the company.


Ain't nothing friendlier in the world than a muddy wet dog.
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2006-07-04
#11

Any company doing business would necessarily be a profit motivated. In which company goals would need to be set, business plan in place. Taxes on business would have to be settled.  TEXAS just past some new tax laws recently... I think they now cover franchise taxes on LLC's but not on Sole propriatorships.

Sounds like work to me.

Other than that.. an international collective referral contact list would essentially be free of International taxes and business restrictions.  We sometimes get requests and pass on a referrals to others.  If I can't find someone to do it.. I usually take the project.  Mainly because If I do it.. it means adding airfare costs to the clients project.  Its more cost effective for the client if I find a VR Photographer at the destination point.


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