Important Stage Design Tips for Event Planners

There is a lot to be mindful of when you are setting the stage for a presentation. Your stage highlights important items for your audience and your presenter’s experience. The stage design budget may seem to be something you think you can eliminate, but until you sit down and see the value that each piece of your stage design brings, you may be missing the point. Our team of event professionals have some important stage design tips that we want you to consider.

Behind the scenes view of an in-person presentation for a virtual event

Your Presenter’s Perspective

When you’re working with your presenter on their plan for your event, ask them how they are most comfortable on stage delivering their great presentation. There may be small stage design features that are important to them and you may not initially consider. Some features may include:

– Presentation Monitor: An addition like a presentation monitor provides presenters with a view of their presentation deck without rubbernecking to the screens alongside them on stage. You will want to collect and test their presentation before the start of the event anyway, so it’s a great opportunity to ask them about this stage element. 

– Presentation Timer: In their plain view, but hidden from the audience, they may appreciate a presentation timer (or a countdown clock) to keep their timing in line with the thoughtful and well-planned agenda. 

– Teleprompter: A third option for your presenter would be a teleprompter. With intense, long speeches, or just a presenter who prefers to have their notes, a teleprompter can add that sense of security to enhance message delivery and presentation performance. Successful message delivery comes from a comfortable, dynamic presenter!

– Microphone: Some of your presenters may prefer to share their presentation from behind a lectern. One may want to move around on stage and prefer a wireless lavalier (lav) microphone on their lapel. Two of them may be presenting together and find it most natural to carry a wireless handheld microphone.

Behind the scenes photo of stage monitors for presenter on stage

It’s crucial to the flow of your event to ask these preferences ahead of time. Your in-person presenter may expect one thing and if you provide something different, it could throw off their entire experience on stage and, in return, ruin the attendees’ event experience, too. Take the time to ask questions ahead of time to ensure success for your presenter and their presentation. 

Your Audience’s Perspective 

Your audience came to see and hear what the presenters have to share. Don’t discount their event experience with lack of careful planning from their perspective! We’re talking about the basic stage design elements here, which include:

– Audio: High quality audio production is the backbone of your event! Your audience came to hear a message that is being communicated to them. It may sound simple, but the most important part of your presentation is making sure the audience (in-person or virtually) can hear what’s going on. 

– Appropriate Lighting: Creating a stage design with effective lighting is one of the most overlooked things in event planning. Avoid making the space too bright and causing your audience (and presenters, too!) to squint and avoid making it too dark without a proper stage wash. You can also look at rigging your lighting from the floor or from the ceiling to provide the best lighting for your event space. 

stage uplighting with large stage pieces and well-lit room with television for audience to see messaging

– Visual Design: It’s easy to go overboard on your stage elements. Large pieces of decor, vibrant colors that don’t match your brand, and other staging features can take away from your presentation and be distracting for your audience. They don’t always look the best in photos or on camera, if you’re recording or live streaming your presentation.

– Messaging: Ask yourself: how are the visuals in the presentation being shared with the audience? There are a large number of screen options available for your stage design to ensure that the presentation is easily accessible to view, depending on your venue, audience size, and other factors. Don’t assume your virtual audience will enjoy reading off the screens on their video feed. You will want to consider switching between the live video feed and the presentation content on your virtual event platform. 

– Easy Access: If there is any part of the presentation where the audience will be asked to join the presenter on stage, you want to be sure that you have a way for them to access the stage naturally. This would include a few steps or a ramp. It’s very easy to add this feature to your stage design, but it’s also easy to forget. 

Don’t Skip Out on the Details of Your Stage Design

There are a significant amount of factors that play into a great presentation – both in-person and virtually. While some details may seem small or not applicable, chances are they are still important. The best approach is to disclose all of the details that will occur during the program, on or off stage, as it all impacts the success of the event. Don’t forget the details! Make your presentation the best ever with a great stage design.