Make Your College’s Graduates’ Big Day Memorable: College Commencement Ceremony AV and Staging Production Tips

As college seniors frantically cram for finals and pull all-nighters writing research papers that they waited until the last minute to start, it’s time for college administrators to begin preparing for one of the most unforgettable moments at any college or university: the commencement ceremony.

Whether your college or university expects 200 or 20,000 attendees at your upcoming commencement graduation ceremony, it’s important that you prepare to highlight and show off your school and graduates with a professional-looking stage and surrounding area set up. Remember, as your students walk up on that stage to accept their diplomas — all eyes will be on them and the stage they’re on and everything around it. Photos will be taken. Videos will be recorded. Lasting memories will be made. So you want to make your graduation ceremony — and graduates — shine!

Here are a few things to consider when you prepare for your university’s graduation ceremony:

 Staging: College graduation is an important milestone and something that students and families will remember for years to come. It’s important to know exactly how many students will be walking across the stage and as close as possible how many people will be in attendance. Many colleges and universities give away a specific set of tickets that each college graduate can give to their friends or family that they’d like to attend. That makes it easier for you to know how many people will be attending the graduation ceremony. Other schools have a more “open-door” policy if they have a larger venue. It’s important that you have a solid idea of the number of people that will be in attendance the day of the graduation.

Have you given yourself enough indoor space to seat everyone comfortably or will you have an outdoor set up? Will you have 10 people seated on stage or 100? There are multiple options for staging, but safety and visibility should be the top two factors when you consider staging.

mobile stages college commencement ceremony

Mobile stages, like the SL100, have been used at numerous colleges across the nation at commencement ceremonies. The versatility and easy set up of these stages are perfect for time-sensitive ceremonies. Mobile stages can be set up with the efficiency you can’t always get with traditional staging panels. With a variety of options for customization with your school’s branding and logos, mobile stages allow colleges to display their true colors and highlight their students beautifully as they walk across the stage. 

 AV Production: Commencement is not just about the stage display — the ceremony needs to be seen and heard by everyone in attendance. Top-of-the-line audio equipment as well as large video displays are a necessity at these types of events. People in the audience want to hear the speeches and see their graduate walk across the stage.

A popular choice for college commencement ceremonies are LED displays and video production. By having LED screens (“jumbotrons”) at graduation ceremonies, the crowd can see exactly what’s happening on-stage. LED screens can be customized for any size, but there are also a variety of predetermined sizes and can be set up via mobile LED trailers. The trailers can also be customized with your school’s colors, logo, the graduation year or just about anything else to promote your graduation ceremony — so the trailer itself will become part of the beauty of the event (it won’t detract!).


– Live-Streaming: For family and friends who can’t attend the actual commencement ceremony, online live streaming is a great option! Virtual commencement ceremonies are becoming more popular ever year. Many colleges broadcast their graduation ceremonies via YouTube Live and Facebook Live for public viewing. This is also beneficial for those who want to watch the ceremony later. This is really great if they missed seeing a loved one walk across the stage or just want to relive the moment again.

live stream college commencement ceremonies on Facebook Live or YouTube Live

While there are a variety of ways to highlight your college and students, when it comes to graduation, consider stage design and AV production some of the best ways to showcase your students’ successful college journey at your school.

When deciding which event production company to choose to work with for your school’s graduation ceremony, work with one of the best production companies that can travel to your campus, one with the audio and video equipment to make your school and students shine and one with the experience necessary to help make your commencement ceremony production a success.