Do you need to hire a stage for your next event? Here’s what you need to know.
If you’re planning a concert, festival, convention or special event with anything from 30 guests upwards to tens of thousands of attendees, you’ll be seriously considering staging hire. Whether you need a raised platform for your entertainers performance, speakers to address an audience or perhaps a significant ceremony , i.e. graduation or similar, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of the size and scope of your event to decide what type of stage and other features are required.
What style of stage do you need?
The first thing you’ll need to know is the style of stage needed for your event. This is largely determined by the placement of your stage, for example is it indoors or outdoors, and the size of your audience that the stage must be visible to (a small group vs. hundreds of thousands of screaming fans!).
Once you’ve determined this, you’ll have a better idea of the dimensions for your staging. How tall does it need to be? How wide should it stretch? Are there backdrops or does your staging require any extra depth? Does the audience need to be able to access this from the front, or is back access only enough?
The most common stage uses are theatre performances, concerts (small and large) and conferences or official ceremonies. With these popular stages in mind, here are our recommendations of how to consider the style for each of these types of uses:
Plays and theatre performances
For most plays and performances, you’ll need to ensure that the stage has a clear ‘back stage’ area for the cast and crew to prepare and organise themselves. Curtains are usually utilised for performances that need stage arrangement in between sets, and is an effective way to give the audience a visual cue of breaks.
Concerts – Small and large
The main stage consideration for concerts is sound and lighting. Whether it’s a more intimate show with one person and a mic, or a full piece band playing to a crowd, both contexts generally require sound audio equipment and stage lighting. Stage lighting is effective for setting the ambience of your event, as well as giving the audience a clear point of focus.
Conferences and corporate events
Similarly at most conference and corporate events that require staging, a microphone or sound equipment will be needed, and lighting for effect. Usually events that have audience participation will need stages with front stair access, and if the crowd are not in a tiered seating arrangement you’ll have to be mindful that the depth of the stage is still visible to everyone.
Technical stage requirements
Rain, hail or shine
All event planners will tell you the importance of a contingency, aka wet weather, back-up plan for your event. If you’re planning an event that features any kind of outdoor area, in case of rain you’ll need an either indoor alternative for the event entirely, or a sturdy cover for your placed staging.
Usually if you’re going to keep your stage and event outdoors irrespective of weather conditions, it’s safest to set up your stage prepared. Even if it turns out to be a sunny, warm day, anyone who is on the stage will probably be more grateful having roof protection from the sun and outdoor glare.
Setting up your stage for sound and lighting
Big or small, all stages will need some kind of sound and lighting set-up. The scale of this set-up however, and specific equipment required will vary greatly depending on your type of event and therefore type of stage.
When deciding your sound and video equipment as part of your stage hire, the main factors for you to consider are,
- How many people is the stage visible to? And what are the vantage points for the audience?
This will give you an indication of where to place spotlights if required.
- What is the arrangement of the room and how well (or not) does sound naturally travel?
Understanding the natural acoustics of a room will allow you to position your speakers and audio hire in the best possibles positions.
Create a floor plan and stage plan, to scale
Whilst this might feel like a tedious job, it will be well worth your time and your most appreciated document when it comes to the actual day of event set-up. It’s crucial that you design your floor plan and stage plan (yes, one of each) to scale as this is the only way you can be confident that your event space will be exactly as you envision. The small details such as thoroughfare areas, proximity to sound, table layout etc are all critical elements that when set-up effectively take your event from zero to hero.
For more information on Stage Hire, contact Sydney Staging Hire on 02 9681 7598 or email firstname.lastname@example.org,