Overview of Meeting Rooms (Private Areas)

  • Updated

When it's time for a meeting in Gather, you can hold that conversation in a Private Area. Think of these like seating areas in an office building: They can function like a conference room behind a closed door, couches for casual coworking, or a table in the break room for water cooler talk. 

How Private Areas Work

Everyone in a Private Area will be able to see and hear each other, and anyone outside of it will not.

To see who's in the Private Area with you: 

  • Look at the top of the Participants Panel
  • Look at the video tiles you're connected to
  • Look at the map and see whose avatars are near you

Locking a Private Area (Remote Office Spaces Only) 

This feature is only available for Private Areas in Remote Office Spaces. If you are in a Team Social or Conference Space, you will not be able to lock the area.

Additionally, you must be an Admin, Mapmaker, or Member in the space to lock Private Areas. Guests do not have permission to lock a meeting area. 

By default, people can freely walk their avatar in and out of Private Areas to join or leave conversations. For an extra layer of privacy, you can Lock a Private Area and prevent other users from walking in. 

To lock a Private Area: 

  1. Click the lock icon in the Participants Panel
  2. If someone new tries to enter the Private Area, you'll see a prompt to admit or deny them access

Scheduling Meetings in Private Areas

When you schedule a meeting in Gather, you can choose from one of three locations: 

  1. Any available Private Area
  2. Your desk
  3. A specific location 

For a Private Area to be available to book meetings in, it needs to have a name and max occupancy set. Admins and Mapmakers can adjust these settings by editing the area (clicking the pencil icon) in the Participants Panel. 

If a conversation is in progress and you want someone to join you in the Private Area, you can: 

  • Copy the link to the Private Area from the Participants Panel (the linked rings icon)
  • Click their avatar in the Participants Panel and select Request to join me

We recommend connecting your Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar to make this process super seamless!

How To Add a Private Area

To add a Private Area to your space, you'll need Admin or Mapmaker permissions. Click here to read more about user roles

To add a new meeting spot to your space, you'll need to add objects (like chairs and tables) and Private Area tile effects.

To add a Private Area: 

  1. Open the Mapmaker.
  2. (Optional) Place new objects in your space to decorate the area.
  3. Select Tile Effects in the top navigation menu and then select Private Area tiles. 
  4. Enter the details of your Private Area, including:
    • Name. This should be unique and descriptive so you know what area it's referencing. 
    • Max Occupancy. Required to make your Private Area "bookable" when scheduling meetings. If you don't want members of your team to book meetings in this area, leave this option blank. 
  5. Click on the map to place the tiles. They'll be highlighted in pink, and you'll see the Name of the area overtop. 
  6. If you accidentally place a tile in the wrong spot, use the Erase Tool from the left sidebar to delete it. 
  7. When you're done, click Save in the top navigation menu. 
  8. When you go back to your space, you'll be able to walk into your new Private Area!

Part of the conference table is covered in pink tiles with the number 1 in them. A Red outline is drawn around the table and connected to a red outline around the Area ID field in the Tile Effects panel.

For advanced users: Private Area Tiles with the same Name do not have to be directly adjacent. You can use this to create complex spaces for team-building, such as escape rooms, obstacles, or "Easter Eggs" in your office. 

Private Area Best Practices

Performance Recommendations

Audio and video performance in a Private Area may vary based on your team's network connections, system settings, and devices. The following recommendations are loose guidelines to help you have the best experience: 

  • If you're sharing your screen, it works best for up to 150 people
  • If you're sharing a combination of audio and video, it works best for up to 250 people
  • If you're sharing audio only, it works for up to 500 people

Design Recommendations

  • Include Private Areas of different sizes in your office. This will help you accommodate a variety of meetings and conversations in your office. Consider the size of one-on-ones, standups, team meetings, cross-team coworking, All Hands, etc. 
  • Create clear visual cues with objects. For example, maybe open coworking areas include couch objects while formal meetings are held in conference rooms or at tables. 
  • Keep hallways in between Private Areas. Make sure there are natural pathways or furniture around a Private Area to give people space to leave or enter without interrupting someone else's conversation. 
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