Virtual Events of the Future: Gather Town for Conferences, Networking, & Meetings
Virtual events, such as conferences, networking events, and meetings, have become increasingly important in the current world of remote work.
After several lockdowns during 2020-2021, many organizations have had to transition to remote work and have had to find new ways to connect and collaborate with their teams and partners.
Importance of virtual events in the current world of remote work
Virtual events provide a way for people to come together and communicate in a virtual setting, allowing them to share ideas, network, and stay connected despite being physically apart.
In addition to being a practical solution for remote work, virtual events also offer several benefits. They can be more cost-effective and time-efficient, as attendees do not have to travel to a physical location. They can also be more inclusive, as anyone with an internet connection can participate. And with the right platform and planning, virtual events can be just as engaging and interactive as in-person events.
Virtual events play a crucial role in the current world of remote work, helping to facilitate communication, collaboration, and connection among teams and partners.
Making virtual events on the Web more real-world
A web interface that looks like a real-world analogue is a type of user interface (UI) that is designed to resemble a physical object or environment. This can be used to help users understand how to interact with the interface and to make it feel more familiar and intuitive.
For example, a web interface for a virtual conference might include a virtual conference center that users can navigate through to access different conference rooms, booths, and other areas. This can help users to feel like they are in a physical conference center, even though they are interacting with the interface online.
While designing a web interface to look like a real-world analogue can be helpful in some cases, it's important to be careful not to create a design that falls into the "uncanny valley" phenomenon.
This occurs when a design or digital art is so lifelike that it becomes disconcerting to users due to the few flaws that remain. To avoid this, it may be helpful to keep some interactions lo-fi and simple, rather than striving for a completely lifelike design.
What is Gather Town?
In case you have never heard about it, Gather Town is a video chat service that aims to recreate the serendipitous encounters and casual conversations that often happen in an office setting.
Instead of logging into a general chat, users control an avatar that can move around a virtual room and initiate a video chat when they get close to another avatar.
With Gather Town, users can design their own virtual space and adjust it as needed, allowing them to take on the role of an architect with the iteration speed of a software engineer.
The cartoonish avatars also help avoid the "uncanny valley" phenomenon, in which digital designs that are too lifelike can be disconcerting to users.
Gather Town is one of several companies in this space, including Huddle, which was founded by a former Uber engineer who believes "the future of transportation is no transportation."
How Gather Town is better for virtual conferences and meetings?
It's worth noting that Gather Town is just one of many virtual event platforms on the market, and the best option for any organization will depend on their specific needs and preferences. However, there are several benefits to using Gather Town for virtual conferences and meetings:
- Customizable virtual spaces: Gather Town allows users to create and customize their own virtual spaces, giving them the freedom to design the event experience that they want. This is a unique feature that sets Gather Town apart from many other virtual event platforms.
- Interactive elements: Gather Town allows users to incorporate interactive elements into their events, such as games and breakout sessions, which can help to keep attendees engaged and foster a sense of community and collaboration.
- Simple and intuitive interface: Gather Town has a simple and intuitive interface that is easy for attendees to use and navigate. This can help to minimize technical issues and ensure a smooth and seamless experience for everyone.
- User-friendly design: Gather Town has a visually appealing and user-friendly design that makes it easy for attendees to find their way around and participate in the event.
- Affordable: Gather Town is an affordable option for hosting virtual events, with pricing plans that cater to a range of budgets.
Some other popular virtual event platforms include Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Webex. When comparing virtual event platforms, it's important to consider factors such as the features and capabilities offered, the user experience, the pricing, and any integrations with other tools or platforms that an organization may use.
Examples of how Gather Town can help host successful virtual conferences and meetings
- Virtual conference for a professional association: A professional association used Gather Town to host a virtual conference for their members, featuring keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities. Attendees were able to move around the virtual conference space, visit different booths and exhibits, and participate in interactive activities.
- Virtual team retreat: A company used Gather Town to host a virtual team retreat, where employees could come together to bond, collaborate, and discuss company goals and strategies. The virtual space included breakout rooms for small group discussions, as well as games and activities to keep attendees engaged.
- Virtual networking event: An organization hosted a virtual networking event using Gather Town, allowing attendees to connect with each other and exchange ideas and resources. The virtual space included networking areas, as well as breakout rooms for more focused conversations.
- Virtual job fair: A university used Gather Town to host a virtual job fair, where students could connect with potential employers and learn about job and internship opportunities. The virtual space included booths for each employer, as well as breakout rooms for students to have more in-depth conversations with recruiters.
These examples demonstrate the flexibility and versatility of Gather Town as a platform for hosting a wide range of virtual events, from conferences and retreats to networking and job fairs.
Success stories and case studies of organizations using Gather Town for virtual events
These are just a few examples of how Gather Town has helped organizations host successful virtual conferences and meetings.
- The European Association of Economists used Gather Town to host a virtual conference with over 1,000 attendees. The organization was able to create a customizable virtual space that included the main stage for presentations, breakout rooms for smaller group discussions, and a networking area for attendees to connect with each other.
- The University of California, Berkeley used Gather Town to host a virtual graduate student conference. The conference included the main stage for keynote speakers, breakout rooms for panel discussions and workshops, and a networking area for attendees to connect with each other.
- The startup accelerator Techstars used Gather Town to host a virtual demo day for its cohort of startups. The event featured a main stage for pitches, breakout rooms for Q&A sessions, and a networking area for attendees to connect with each other.
By providing customizable virtual spaces, interactive elements, and a user-friendly interface, Gather Town has helped these organizations facilitate communication, collaboration, and connection among attendees, even in a virtual setting.
The future of virtual events with Gather Town
The future of virtual events with Gather Town looks bright, as the platform continues to innovate and evolve to meet the needs of organizations and attendees.
One potential direction for the future of virtual events with Gather Town is the integration of more advanced technology, such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). This could allow attendees to experience virtual events in an even more immersive and realistic way, potentially making virtual events feel more like in-person events.
Another potential development is the integration of more AI and machine learning capabilities into the platform. This could allow Gather Town to analyze data from previous virtual events and make recommendations for improvements and optimizations, as well as automatically customize the virtual space based on the needs and preferences of the event.
As more organizations and individuals become familiar with virtual events and the benefits they offer, it's possible that virtual events will become the preferred choice for many types of gatherings. Virtual events have the potential to be more inclusive, cost-effective, and time-efficient than in-person events, making them an attractive option for a wide range of organizations and individuals.
It's clear that Gather Town is leading the way in the virtual event space and is well-positioned to continue revolutionizing the way we host virtual events in the future. As the world becomes increasingly reliant on remote work and virtual communication, platforms like Gather Town will continue to play a crucial role in bringing people together and facilitating connections and collaboration.
Gather Town and the Metaverse
The concept of a metaverse refers to a shared virtual reality that is created and accessed through the internet. The metaverse is often depicted as a persistent, immersive virtual world that users can enter and interact with in real time.
Gather Town is not necessarily a part of the metaverse, as it does not create a persistent virtual world that users can enter and explore.
However, the concept of the metaverse could potentially be incorporated into Gather Town or similar virtual event platforms in the future. For example, users might be able to access a metaverse-like virtual world through Gather Town and use it as a platform for hosting virtual events.
This could allow for even more immersive and interactive virtual events, as users could explore and interact with the virtual world in a more comprehensive way.
What's next for virtual meetings and events?
Virtual meetings will continue to be an important part of the way we work and communicate, especially as the world becomes more reliant on remote work and virtual events.
It's difficult to predict exactly what the future holds for virtual meetings, as it depends on the evolution of technology and the needs and preferences of organizations and individuals.
Here are a few potential trends and developments that could shape the future of virtual meetings:
- Increased use of virtual reality: Virtual reality (VR) technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we host virtual meetings, allowing for more immersive and interactive experiences. VR meetings could allow attendees to feel like they are in the same physical space, even if they are located remotely.
- More interactive and engaging virtual meetings: As virtual meetings become more common, there may be a push to make them more interactive and engaging, in order to keep attendees focused and involved. This could include the use of interactive elements, such as polls, quizzes, and breakout sessions.
- Improved virtual meeting platforms: Virtual meeting platforms are likely to continue evolving and improving, with new features and capabilities that make it easier and more effective to host virtual meetings. This could include better integration with other tools and platforms, improved audio and video quality, and more user-friendly interfaces.
It's likely that virtual meetings will continue to play a significant role in the way we work and communicate, with new developments and trends shaping the way we use them in the future.
Should you try Gather Town?
If you're considering hosting a virtual event, I highly recommend giving Gather Town a try!
The platform offers a range of unique features that make it an ideal choice for hosting virtual conferences, meetings, networking events, and more. With customizable virtual spaces, interactive elements, and a simple and intuitive interface, Gather Town is sure to make your virtual event a success.
Give Gather Town a try for your next virtual event and see for yourself how it can revolutionize the way you connect and collaborate with your team, partners, and attendees.