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Tripepi Smith Creates Virtual Tour for Mt. San Antonio Gardens

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Mt. San Antonio Gardens, a nationally recognized Senior Life Care community in Claremont and Pomona, typically relies on in-person visits for recruiting new residents. As the pandemic forced the community to take precautions and practice infection control that protects their 500 residents and 350 employees, the Gardens turned to Tripepi Smith to create a virtual tour of their 31-acre, park-like campus and architecturally rich residences.

“COVID-19 poses a significant threat to senior living communities,” said Mary Jean Neault, vice president for marketing and community outreach. “After modifying our visitation policies to comply with L.A. County Department of Public Health guidelines and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention best practices, it became important to devise a way to share our community with prospective residents. Video will allow us to show the very best the Gardens has to offer and get as close as we can to an onsite visit.”

Tripepi Smith Director of Operations Katherine Griffiths and Business Analyst Skylar Hunter collaborated with Gardens marketing and community outreach staff members including Neault, Elizabeth Monica and Denise Stevenson to recreate a guided tour experience using technology.

“The Gardens’ community is warm and welcoming, with personal attention and care at the center of their service to residents,” said Griffiths. “We wanted to leverage video and digital publications in a way that retained and expressed that culture.”

After storyboarding the tour, Team Tripepi Smith spent two days onsite filming, using a combination of drone, gimbal camera systems and digital cameras to capture the Gardens’ campus.

“Mt. San Antonio Gardens is a beautiful campus,” said Hunter. “It sprawls out over naturally unique topography and takes advantage of the natural beauty of Claremont and Pomona. One moment you are moving through what feels like a secret garden and the next you’re stepping through a beautiful library. Capturing that beauty required perspectives from the land and air.”

Hunter’s concept was to illustrate the depth and breadth of the campus and showcase the beauty of the grounds while conveying a first-hand experience of the surroundings. He flew a drone over the Gardens, capturing its gorgeous landscaping and open space, then turned to ground cameras to focus the direction of the tour, give the impression of moving through the space and drive home the feeling of being there. On-the-ground content included detailed footage of six of the twenty-two Gardens’ residence options, ranging from studio apartments to multi-bedroom cottages.

The footage then was edited down into presentation format with close attention from the Gardens staff. To capture the vitality of campus spaces not able to be occupied due to the pandemic, Hunter incorporated still photography.

“The marketing and community outreach staff, especially Elizabeth, who welcomes prospective residents to the campus, provided a good sense of the direction we should take,” said Hunter. “Creating that feeling of moving around the space, being guided through it, wouldn’t have been possible without leveraging Elizabeth’s deep well of experience. Knowing how she conducts the tours, how people naturally progress through a residence or the library, or walk around the cutting garden or the pool, gave us the ability to capture and edit footage that provides that feeling.”

The final Gardens virtual tour experience will leverage Zoom to share campus and home tours that use filmmaking, editing and lighting techniques to create a unique experience of being present. Tripepi Smith has trained the Gardens staff to present smoothly and in a modular way, allowing them to maintain a visual and audio connection while demonstrating different spaces at will.

The video assets will be accompanied by a virtual presentation packet developed by Art Director Kevin Bostwick. By making small adjustments to the Gardens’ existing printed materials, Bostwick introduced functional indexing/navigation shortcuts for the staff members who will lead the virtual tours. There will be two sets of materials: The first, provided directly to prospective residents in advance of their tour appointment, will include an overview sheet with a graphic indicating what each of the documents are and a unified PDF with a simple, navigable footer so users can hop to any document from any page. The second, formatted for the tour-leader to display and navigate in the course of a virtual tour, will use Zoom’s sharing and annotation functionality and include documents collated and optimized for presentation.

“Creating a virtual tour was a new and exciting challenge for Tripepi Smith,” said Hunter. “We had to take a three-dimensional experience and recreate that through the barrier of a two-dimensional screen. In film, the idea is to convince the viewer to place themself into the space to give that feeling of wanting to be there. Filming a space offers the very important opportunity to capture the truly beautiful parts, like walking down by the koi ponds when a butterfly flies ahead of you down the walkway, beckoning you to adventure further. Shooting the grounds at the Gardens was less about just showing the space, which any camera can do, and more about showing the experience of living there.”

“Mt. San Antonio Gardens has a reputation for being open to lifelong learning and there have been countless examples of that during these last five months,” said Neault. “Both our residents and prospective residents are picking up new tools and taking to the use of video in lieu of in-person visits. It’s been a learning and adapting process for all of us. We appreciate that Tripepi Smith has helped us hit the ground running by teaching us how to implement these new techniques.”

While the virtual tour is reserved for prospects, you can view samples of the drone footage on our Vimeo page.

About Mt. San Antonio Gardens

Mt. San Antonio Gardens is a nationally recognized Life Care community in southern California where residents cherish their independence and continually expand their interests and explore new life experiences. The comfort, convenience and amenities the Gardens offers enables residents to focus on the experiences that bring them the most fulfillment. With the security of Life Care at the Gardens’ core and on-campus access to all levels of care, should it be needed, residents are free to enjoy the pleasures life has to offer without the worry of future health care needs or catastrophic costs.

About Tripepi Smith

Tripepi Smith is an Orange County-based marketing, technology and public affairs firm that serves for-profit, nonprofit and public agencies. Its unique mix of marketing and technology prowess provides a competitive advantage to agencies seeking to leverage the internet to achieve their communication goals. The firm provides full content creation services, including: ghost writing, collateral development, photography, video production, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing campaigns and website design and execution. Tripepi Smith clients include: City of American Canyon, City of Culver City, City of Cupertino, City of Daly City, City of Duarte, City of El Cerrito, City of Indian Wells, City of La Cañada Flintridge, City of Lakeport, City of Lake Forest, City of Paramount,City of Rolling Hills Estates, City of Santa Ana, City of Santa Cruz, City of Tracy, City of Yuba City, Cal Choice, California Joint Powers Insurance Authority, Inland Empire Utilities Agency, Rowland Water District, Valley Water Company, California Contract Cities Association, California City Management Foundation, Institute for Local Government, League of California Cities, Renne Public Law Group, Bob Hall & Associates and Climatec Energy Services.

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