Connect Multiple Spaces for a 500+ Person Event

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The first question that needs to be answered when considering a large event with more than 500 people on Gather is: 

What do I want my participants to get out of this experience?

If the answer is to watch something (like a presentation or a graduation ceremony),  you need to be aware that, though possible on Gather, you will still need to incorporate multiple technologies to make this successful. Gather simulates real-life interactions. One of those interactions, unfortunately, includes how chaotic and stressful having 500 people squeezed into the same room can be. 

If the answer is to be connected to other people and spark conversation, then the focus should be on how to encourage smaller group conversations. One way to achieve this is by intentionally creating a space with small break out rooms and conversation areas. Another way to do this for larger events is to pre-emptively split up attendance into  difference spaces.

The Design Aspect

Right now, your Gather Space is limited to a maximum peak capacity of 500 people. If you plan to have more than 500 simultaneous participants, you can design and connect multiple spaces together to accommodate a larger event. When doing so, we recommend the following tips:

  • Making each Space structurally a duplicate of the others
    • Reduce the need or desire for everyone to pile into the same space
      • Provide as many of the same amenities and tools in all of the individual Spaces as possible
      • Use the same video object to embed live streams of keynote speakers (or use synchronized tvs for pre-recorded presentations) Same object across all halls so it does not matter which space you're in - you can see the same program in all spaces
    • Have multiple break out rooms and small conversation areas to encourage smaller group interactions.

An example of a conference space with many divided rooms and tables to encourage small group conversations. 

  • Make each Space stylistically distinct such that there is no doubt which Space you are standing in
    • Using a repeated image or insignia in addition different flooring and walls 
Examples of Repeated Imagery in entry way to help Participants orient themselves
Examples of Repeated Imagery near breakout rooms to help Participants orient themselves
Examples of Repeated Imagery in the social areas to help Participants orient themselves
  • Connect the Spaces using a Hub and Spokes model
    • Use one portal from each space to a Central Hub Space located in the same location on all maps. 
    • Make the Hub an interesting social space, but not essential to your event 
    • Portal to Central Hub ideally placed in location where participants are least likely to go first
      • In below example, participants initially appear at the bottom center of the map. There are visually interesting areas to explore going up and to either side. Entrance to Central "Hub" is immediately south of where participants appear and intentionally visually convey an "exit" or departure from the space

Tip: For more info on connecting spaces together using portals, read this guide

A diagram showing how each distinct Space is connected to the Central Hub area and allows people to move between spaces as needed. 

For reference, the above examples were created from a modified version of our Deluxe Conference Map which can comfortably host 100-500 participants on its own . Thus the above example is for an event with roughly 1,500 participants.

Image of the Deluxe Conference Map template space option that can be found when creating a new space.

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