When hiring a stage for the first time, it can be hard to know where to begin! Whether you’re planning a conference or corporate event, school performance, a festival or concert, each event is unique has, therefore, your needs will vary. At Sydney Staging Hire, we’ve been helping customers for over fifteen years plan their stage hire for events. We understand the different components that need to be planned for so a staged event runs smoothly. From basic stages a square metre in size to fully scoped concert stages with an audience of thousands. We’ve put together a foolproof guide for everything you need to know when planning your stage hire:
1. Begin with a floor plan
This one might seem like a no brainer, but it’s incredible how often it can be overlooked. Drawing up a floor plan, to scale, is the only way to ensure your stage is perfectly measured and proportionate to your event space. Being able to clearly visualize where your stage will be positioned ensures you have considered all factors like audience vantage points, sound and lighting effects and entry and exit points for performers. To do this without a floor plan is nearly impossible.
When drawing your floor plan, make sure to include
- Thoroughfare areas
- Sound, including the natural acoustics and audience proximity to any speakers
- Stage visibility, for both the audience and the performers
- Bathrooms and any communal areas that need to be accessible
- Equipment such as tables, chairs or stands, including power sources if required
- Entry and exit points to the room
2. Create a separate stage plan
Now that you’ve mastered your floor plan, repeat the same process for your stage. Think of your stage like its own entity, that actually does require being fully scoped. Detailing your stage plan will ensure that you hire the right size stage and that the set up fully covers your unique requirements.
If you have performers that you’re arranging the stage for, it’s also a good idea to run the stage plan by them. Making assumptions is never a safe bet, and there might be minor details or needs overlooked that can easily be covered with a quick check-in. The other motive for running a stage check with your performers ahead of time is that it gets everyone on the same page beforehand – so everyone knows what to expect and there are no last minute surprises on the night.
3. Confirm what type of stage you will need
Now that you have your floor plan and stage plan, you’ll be able to decide what type of stage you need. Beginning with the size of your performance, you should start to assess the minimum dimensions of the floor space required. To do this, in addition to the number of performers, you should consider props, equipment and any backdrops that will be used or added.
Next would be to confirm the height of the stage. This usually depends on the size of the audience and how many people the stage needs to be visible to. For example, a concert performance to hundreds or even thousands of people, the stage will need to be taller so its visible to everyone, vs a low key presentation or ceremony where a low stage is probably more suitable.
4. Plan your sound and lighting
For all performance types, sound and lighting are crucial and should be planned for together. For audio hire, you’ll need to consider the different sound elements of your performance, for example, a microphone may be needed for a speaker presentation whereas surround sound speakers would be required for a dance performance. Each sound component will have different factors to consider which is why larger performances usually have a sound engineer to perfect each part.
For any staged event, lighting should be a priority. Lighting transforms a stage and affects the entire ambience of a room, which is why getting it right is so important. When planning stage lighting, you should consider not only the visibility of your performers but also the atmosphere for the audience. What mood are you trying to create? How do you want them to feel watching the performance? Do they need to participate? All of this is influenced by the lighting.
Another important consideration that can be overlooked is event photographers or videographers. You’ll want to be sure to check with them their requirements in the lighting and sound surrounds to get the best quality footage of your event.
If you’re needing staging hire for your next event, speak to Party Hire Group, staging specialists serving Sydney and the Greater Sydney region.