Helpful Tips for a Successful Stage Setup this Holiday Season

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Helpful Tips for a Successful Stage Setup this Holiday Season

December 7, 2018

 

stage setup tips

Many venues, most notably schools or churches, will host special events this time of year that require alterations to their usual performance area. Some will even setup a portable stage to host the event in a gymnasium or cafetorium.

These special setups provide you with some opportunities to test your skills as well as provide your parents, parishioners and supporters with a chance to see your performer’s talents. There are a few things you should do to get the most out of your event. Here are 6 helpful tips to make your event go as well as possible this holiday season.

Tip # 1:  Know your stage’s condition and weight carrying capacity

Safety is the most important part of any event. Make sure you take the time to ensure the stage is set up correctly and in good working order. This equipment may not be used every day and may have been put away with the plan to repair it before the next use and that just never happened. So, take this important step first and foremost. Secondly, check to make sure the props and other loading considerations are well within the design and carrying capacity of your stage. No one wants to find out during the performance that the stage cannot handle the static loading of the extra elements you put on the platform to support the event. If it’s ignored, it can cause the entire event to go awry. To find the weight capacity, consult the manual or contact the manufacturer directly.

Tip # 2:  Make sure you have a setup crew

A good setup crew will help the event go much smoother during both the setup and tear down. You’ll want to make sure you have enough people to make this transition go quickly. You can set up portable staging with just 2 people, but more will make things easier. Having the right sized team will allow you to have others focus on handling the setup of the props, seating, and anything else that you’re using special for the event.

Tip # 3:  Clean the stage surface beforehand and after

A stage surface should be smooth, slip resistant, and clear of debris. If it has dirt and other debris on it, it can be slippery. Not only is this unsafe, but it will make the performance look unprofessional if your stage is dirty. For tips on how to clean your stage surface check out our post about it.

portable stages

No matter what you do, your stage is going to get dirty. The important thing is that you clean it after the performance to make sure it will be easier for your next set up.

Tip #4:  Remove any trip hazards

Make sure that there aren’t any trip hazards on the floor. If cables are needed in the performance area, you need to make sure that they’re in areas with the least amount of foot traffic and are taped down. If there are any props that can be a trip hazard, make sure that they’re securely fastened and stable. The more that you can make the performers aware and minimize interaction with these elements, the safer the environment will be.

Tip #5:  Have adequate lighting on and off stage

The stage needs to have sufficient lighting to ensure that performers can see where they’re walking. This is especially true if they’re near the edge of the stage. If you are having your performers move on and off the stage you may need to also consider the stage wings. The performers need to be able to see where they’re stepping while they’re entering or exiting the stage.

stage lighting

If you’re using strobe lights or other special effects, make sure they’re set up in a way so they don’t distract or impair the vision of anyone.

Tip #6:  Know your props and use them safely

The use of props can greatly improve any performance. When using them, though, consider the points above so you can be sure that you aren’t creating trip hazards or compromising your stage’s weight capacity. Make sure your performers and stage hands know which ones are fixed and which ones will move as they can impact the flow of the performance. A prop can quickly go from an addition to the event to a deterrent that is blocking your soloist when it ends up in the wrong location or falls over during a critical point. Controlling these elements will ensure a memorable performance for the right reasons.

Conclusion

This holiday season, when you’re hosting an event that uses equipment that’s outside of your normal program, make sure you take these quick tips into consideration.

Whether you’re making temporary changes to your current stage or you’re creating a portable setup in a new space like a cafetorium or gymnasium, nothing should be overlooked because chances are this event will be well attended and you want to make a good impression on your guests. These helpful tips will ensure that the event goes smoother and the performers will be safe.

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