You might have already heard about this tool called Gather.town as a platform for online collaboration. But is it worth a try? And what exactly is Gather.town in the first place? We tested Gather extensively, so let’s take a closer look at functionality, pricing and the pros and cons. And learn why we at teamazing decided to go all-in on this tool.
Gather.town is a virtual space platform that offers a new way of conducting online meetings, events, and conferences. The platform provides a 2D environment where users can interact with each other in real-time, almost as if they were in the same physical location. It is browser based, so no additional software is needed. Once you’ve set up your virtual office, you are ready to go. It’s free up to ten users.
What is a Gather.town?
Gather.town was created in 2019 with the goal of providing a more engaging and interactive online experience compared to traditional video conferencing tools. Unlike Zoom, Skype, and other similar platforms, Gather.town offers a virtual space that feels like a real physical place over time. Participants can move around the environment, chat with others, and even interact with objects in the scene. Interaction doesn’t require any other action than moving close to another avatar. Once you’ve entered the “personal space” of a colleague, a video frame appears, and the conversation starts (browser access to microphone and cameras is mandatory). Video and audio connection is per default limited to the browser tab. Once you “leave” the tab, your camera and audio recording automatically stops. If you want to interact with a person not present in their Gather tab, you can “ring” them and a notification sound will alert the person. The platform also supports live video and audio streaming, making it possible to host virtual events, concerts, and alike (btw. we also took a look at Gather.town alternatives here).
One of the most innovative features of Gather.town is its 2D environment. Unlike traditional virtual reality (VR) platforms, Gather.town does not require users to wear VR headsets or have powerful computer systems. Instead, it runs in a standard web browser and can be accessed from any device with a web cam, microphone, and an internet connection. This makes it easy for people to join and participate in virtual events and meetings, regardless of their technical expertise. Having mixed experiences with different communication software in the past, we at teamazing almost switched completely to Gather.town as our meeting tool.
Gather.town’s virtual environment is highly customizable, allowing users to create unique spaces that reflect their brand, culture, and values. Companies can use the platform to host internal meetings, kick-offs, training sessions, product launches, or remote workspaces. With Gather, it is possible to create a virtual space that resembles a real conference center, office, or even a futuristic cityscape. The platform supports multiple rooms and private areas, allowing users to conduct confidential conversations in a secure environment. We at teamazing even built custom experiences for our clients, such as a virtual Christmas town or a massive playground for a virtual company event.
Since the end of 2020 we’ve been using Gather.town. It soon became a no-brainer for every employee – virtual collaboration and meaningful interactions can feel so natural when using the tool.
Engagement and interaction
Another advantage of Gather.town is its ability to increase engagement and interaction among participants. In traditional video conferencing tools, it is often difficult to keep people focused and engaged for long periods of time. With Gather.town, participants can move around the virtual environment, chat with each other, and even play online team building games. This makes it possible to create a more dynamic and interactive experience, which can improve retention, participation, and overall satisfaction. We recently hosted an informational event in our Gather space, with many participants staying afterward, chatting, and asking questions. The tool is packed with a lot of small but smart features. Here is our personal favorite: you can applaud by pressing the F-button. If enough people join you, you’ll hear a sound of applause. If even more join, the intensity of the applause will rise. This can be an instant mood boost to all the participants.
The good news is: Up to a team of ten, Gather.town is free to use. This is great for smaller remote teams, or for extensive testing, as we did (see also: Remote Teams Management). If you need more users, you can choose between a daily or monthly model (more details about gather pricing). In our experience, Gather.town can be a cost-effective solution for companies looking to reduce travel costs (and minimize their carbon footprint). By hosting virtual meetings and events, we saved time and money on travel and lodging expenses. Additionally, Gather can be used to host global events that would otherwise be difficult to organize, making it possible for companies to reach a wider audience and expand their reach.
Gather 10% discount & support
Since we love working with Gather, we are proud to be part of the Gather Ambassador Program. So if you are interested in using Gather.town, contact our sales team and get 10% off the regular pricing for monthly subscriptions plus free support from our Gather experts. Interested? Get your Gather discount now!
The psychological side of Gather.town
One of the main reasons we adapted Gather for our very own remote work setup is this: Gather feels like a real office. Many companies hesitate to implement a true remote work option for their employees, mainly because they fear people might disconnect from the company due to the lack of interaction. Zoom and Co. have earned a rather suboptimal reputation over the last two years as an office replacement. Relying solely on video conference tools when going remote, can indeed be a risk to a company’s culture. What we quickly learned while using Gather: once you log into your virtual office in the morning, you feel an instant connection to your team. Who’s on, who’s busy, who’s having a meeting? It just feels like coming into your company’s office, while being at home or enjoying your workation.
Gather Pros & Cons
So here is what we consider to be the most important pros and cons when it comes to using Gather as a collaboration tool:
In conclusion, Gather.town is a creative virtual space platform that offers a new way of conducting online meetings, events, and collaboration. With its immersive 2D environment, high level of customization, and ability to increase engagement and interaction, Gather.town can help your company reduce costs, improve collaboration and communication, and create unique and memorable virtual experiences. We use it as a part of our Virtual Team Building, and the customer feedback is overwhelming. For us as a company, it was a game changer in terms of working together virtually. If you are interested in using Gather.town yourself, feel free to visit us in our Gather space by contacting one of our trainers via the form below!
Choose a spot and schedule a free 30-minute Session with one of our Trainers.