6 Considerations for Selecting a Seating Riser

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6 Considerations for Selecting a Seating Riser

June 14, 2018

Seating Risers

For moveable seating configurations, theatres should look for a manufacturer or supplier who will spend the time it takes to gain a good understanding of the scope of their project because audience seating isn’t one size fits all in today’s venues.

Movable seating riser configurations are used to improve sightlines for patrons and to provide flexibility so the space can be set up in many configurations for different types of performances.

A good portable stage and riser company will plan carefully. They will likely ask to see a layout of your performance space so they know how many and what kind of configurations you need. Understanding all of this will ensure that the best system of portable equipment will be used for the project. The goal is to meet every need.

When selecting your new portable seating or audience risers, there are 6 things you need to be looking for. A good riser system will have all of these characteristics.

1. Meets the Needs of Your Space

This is most important as it is the reason you’re looking at getting portable seating. Your risers need to meet the specific needs of your performance space and events. They should improve and maximize sightlines in the space and provide the flexibility that you need for different configurations with the desired number of seats.

2. Efficient Storage and Transportation

You will want a system that transports and stores well in the designated space in the building. Efficient storage is important because you may not be using every piece of your system for every event and storage space can be limited. Make sure you consider doorways, hallways, and freight elevators for transporting your system throughout the building.

3. Easy to Setup

audience seating riser

A good portable seating system will be used in different configurations for various events and it should be very easy to set up and change configurations. We know how valuable time is for a venue manager and crew so the changeover process for your seating configurations should be as seamless as possible. Some theatres have also begun using telescopic risers. Telescopic risers can be set up with limited staff involvement because they are powered and only require the push of a button to deploy.

4. Aesthetically Pleasing

Your portable audience risers should be aesthetically pleasing and fit the look and feel of your space. You don’t want patrons to be focused on the equipment; they should be focused on the performance.

5. Sturdy and Quiet

The system should be sturdy, safe, and quiet. The stereotype regarding portable staging and risers is that it can be creaky or wobbly, but with professional equipment, that isn’t the case. In addition, quiet equipment won’t distract patrons and they will be able to focus on the performance.

6. Meets Codes and ADA Requirements

ADA platform

Make sure that your system meets all applicable building codes, including ADA requirements. The codes you will need to be aware of are relating to things like wheelchair access, maximum seating capacities, location and size of aisles, egress requirements, and fire codes, among others. Railing and aisle lighting issues need to be considered as well.


Portable seating risers will add a lot of flexibly to your performance venue. Just like anything else, there are many things to look at when buying your seating riser system. Taking all 6 of these items into consideration will ensure that you’re getting the best system possible that will meet the needs of your facility flawlessly.

Take a careful look at your space and the events that you host and contact our experts to find the ideal portable seating riser for you.

Project Spotlight

Check out the seating risers that we built for the Warner Theater in Torrington, Connecticut.

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