Since launch in May 2020, Gather has been a destination for human connection regardless of physical location. No place has this been more consistent than when you come to Gather to work with your team. Remote teams have been empowered to work naturally, build relationships, and collaborate side-by-side, even when they’re miles apart.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been launching building blocks improving your workplace experience end-to-end, from getting you into a space quicker, to new office map templates, to quality of life features and improved audio and video.
This week, we’re excited to announce an all new meeting experience in Gather to supercharge your virtual office.
Here’s what you can look forward to:
Host Meetings Around Your Office
Scheduling a team meeting in Gather is now seamless. Set up designated meeting areas (Private Areas) in your office that make creating and joining meetings a breeze. You can even include a Gather meeting link directly in Google Calendar via the new Gather Meetings Chrome Extension.
- Add a Gather meeting link to Google Calendar invites in one click – The new Gather Meeting Chrome Extension allows you to embed Gather meeting links directly into your Google Calendar invite. The extension will check the number of people invited to the meeting and automatically select an open Private Area with enough space. Not only is it efficient, but it’s a fun way to explore your office - you never know what random Area it will choose!
- Create custom meeting rooms with Private Areas – Private Areas are where you can host meetings, much like a physical conference room in analog offices or a “meeting room” on other platforms like Zoom. You can name these areas and set the maximum occupancy in the Mapmaker. On the Participants Panel, you’ll be able to see where your coworkers are in the office based on what Private Area they are in.
- Use privacy controls for your meetings – When you’re in a Private Area, you can now lock the space. Anyone looking to enter will need permission from an existing meeting participant before they can join. You’ll also be able to see who exactly is in your “Current Area”. By default, you will chat with only other participants in your meeting area, but you can also toggle to chat with your entire office.
And best of all, when you host meetings in your Gather office, participants can join in just one click – whether they’re part of your everyday team or a guest for the day.
Join Meetings in One Click
When you come to your Gather office to work, you don’t lose time collaborating together. Meetings have been upgraded to make sure that when it’s time to meet, you don’t lose time.
- Share direct links to your meeting from the Participants tab – If you’re a meeting participant, it’s never been easier to share a link directly to your meeting. Click on your “Participants” tab and click on the chain icon to copy a link going directly to that Private Area. Copy, post in Slack (or wherever) and have them one click join your meeting immediately in the right location!
- See your schedule for the day right in Gather - When you link your Google Calendar, you’ll be able to see events in the side panel along with their location in your Gather office. You’ll always know exactly where you’re supposed to be! Just click the “Beta” calendar icon in the bottom right and sign in with Google to get started.
- Click “Take Me There” to join meetings when they start – With your next meeting hosted in Gather, you’ll receive an in-app reminder of the upcoming event five minutes before it begins. Once the meeting starts, you can simply open it from the notification or your calendar tab, click “Take Me There” and your avatar will head over to the Private Area where your team awaits!
Once you’re in a meeting with team members, you’ll get to take advantage of our new features and tweaks that take the meeting experience to the next level.
Enjoy Seamless Meetings
It’s time to tackle your next meeting with your remote team, but we’re going to make that easy for you in Gather. We’ve added new quality-of-life features and controls for this new meeting experience, including the following:
- Enter the Meeting View together - When you enter the Meeting View, you activate an immersive meeting mode that pulls your participants’ videos into a grid, fades the background of your office, and keeps your avatar in place ready for the meeting. The Meeting View allows you to keep focus on you and your team. You can also toggle among Meeting View, Map View, and Screenshare View depending on what you need.
- Use new video camera and microphone controls – We’ve launched indicators that remind you that you’re muted if you mean to talk and the ability to mute a participant for everyone if, say, their background is too loud (or maybe you just don’t want to hear from them, oh well!).
- Experience additional improvements – We have made improvements to our multiple screen sharing feature, which continues to allow your team to share screens simultaneously, which can be especially important during meetings. We’ve now made it more clear when you’re “Away from Tab” and automatically hidden your video and muted you when you are, so that it’s clear when you’re stepping away from the office for a bit.
Set your office up for more successful meetings
Ready to start taking advantage of all these new features?
If you’re an admin, open the Mapmaker and give any existing Private Areas a name and occupancy limit. You can also edit the names of Private Areas directly from the participants tab. If you don’t have any dedicated meeting areas yet, we recommend you build out a few for different sizes of meetings, or you can check out the new Office Templates (released a few weeks ago!) that come with some pre-existing options, too.
If you’re not an admin, connect your Google calendar and install the Gather Meetings Chrome extension to start seamlessly scheduling meetings in Gather. Can’t find the room you want for your meetings? Tell your admin you want Builder access – here’s some ideas on how to design engaging meeting rooms in Gather!
Whether you’re at a fully remote, next generation startup, or a business with a tight-knit team across time zones, you can continue to rely on Gather to be a place where you can build meaningful connections regardless of location, including during your team’s meetings.
Making meetings better, bit by bit,
The Gather Team